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England’s Ian Bell expects captain Alastair Cook to be fit for first Ashes Test on November 21 despite him missing three-day tour match against a Western Australia Chairman’s XI in Perth because of a sore back.
Cook, along with pace bowler Stuart Broad, sat out a practice game on Tuesday to receive treatment on respective back problems.
And it has been decided that the 28-year-old will not feature in the opening tour match Down Under as England face the Western Australia Chairman’s XI from Thursday at the WACA.
Despite the absence of Cook from the game, Bell has spoken out to allay fears that he could miss the opening Test in Brisbane in three weeks’ time.
“I’m sure he’ll be fine. Obviously a long flight isn’t always easy,” he said.
“He’ll be right in the next week or so.”
Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann are also rested and Monty Panesar is out with a stomach bug.
The match is set to focus on the likes bowlers Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett, who will all be looking to earn a place in the side for that first Test alongside the likes of Broad and Jimmy Anderson as England bid to win a fourth consecutive Ashes series for the first time in more than a century.