England batsman Ian Bell admits his side has paid the price for resting on its laurels after reaching the top of the Test world rankings.

Andrew Strauss’s team must beat South Africa in the third and final Test at Lord’s next week to retain the No. 1 spot and Bell believes it has only itself to blame if South Africa move above it. England has produced two lacklustre displays against South Africa so far to fall 1-0 down in the series and that is symptomatic of its recent inconsistency.

Bell is concerned that Strauss’s side has lost five of its ten Tests since replacing India as No. 1 and he wants it to show renewed hunger in the third Test. “We were so hungry to get to No. 1 and that feeling of chasing No. 1 is something that drove us really hard,” Bell said.

“It's been a bit different being the team chased by the other teams, a bit like the position India was in last year. Flower was keen to remind us that the hard work was only just starting when we got to No. 1.”

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