Warwickshire: England batsman Ian bell says that he is ready to grab his Ashes chance with both hands - and ram the Aussies' taunts straight back down their throats.
Bell will be back in England's side for Thursday's Third Test thanks to Kevin Pietersen's Achilles injury, four months after being axed in the West Indies.
Taking on Australia on his home turf at Edgbaston is what Bell has been dreaming about. With a bucket load of county runs under his belt, the timing could not have been better for the 27-year-old.
Bell believes that if he is getting sledged as he has been for the past two years, he must be doing something right at the batting crease.
"I can take it. They (Australians) can say what they want, it is a matter of taking it and then cracking on," Bell said.
He averages 65 at Edgbaston this summer, rattling up 670 runs overall.
"You are always desperate to play for your country, but I have had to try and keep myself as focused as I can for county cricket. It's hard but if I wasn't focused for Warwickshire I wouldn't have got the runs to help me get back in," he said.
"When I walk out on Thursday I'll have already played 10 Tests against Australia. I know what it''s all about," The Sun quoted Bell, as saying.
"When you have played a considerable amount for your country, when you are not there it really hurts. You miss what you used to do a hell of a lot. You will do everything you can to get back into that team. You are desperate to get back into an England shirt. When I got back from the West Indies after the winter tour, I really had to put the Ashes to the back of my mind. I had to get the runs in county cricket with Warwickshire to give myself a chance to be part of the Ashes and overall I''ve done that," he added.
"It was important for me to keep in good form in case there was an injury or someone was showing a lack of form," he said.