• England in India 2012-13

Father-to-be Bell to miss second Test

ESPN staff
November 7, 2012

England batsman Ian Bell is likely to return home from India after the first Test to be present for the birth of his first child.

Bell, one of England's better batsmen against spin, is expected to take a brief leave of absence to be with his wife Chantal Louise Bastock around the time of the second Test in Mumbai, which begins on November 23.

And the England No. 3 admits his mind has been elsewhere since England arrived in India, where so far he has spent little time at the crease in the warm-up matches.

"Obviously when you come on tour you want to start pretty well and you want to get as much time as you can in the middle," Bell said.

"I was disappointed to miss out on runs in the first two innings but I will hopefully get some time in the middle next week."

Bell had raised the prospect of leaving the squad as early as September and believes he could be away for as little as a day, and is desperate to strike the right balance between his England commitments and family life.

"Obviously you are thinking of home and the excitement of a new baby that I have going on over the next couple of weeks but I am also thinking how important it is to get the cricket right as well.

"It is a little bit tricky but while I am here I want to score as many runs as I can in the first test match and put in a performance that can hopefully help win us that first match and contribute which is what I want to do."

Samit Patel may be set to benefit from the extra space in England's batting order after his impressive innings of 104 in the draw against Mumbai A.

"It is only practice matches at the moment but it is always good to have some runs under your belt and a few wickets to boost confidence and that is what practice games are for," Patel said.

I have just got to keep doing what I am doing and get in form."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.