England's batsmen held "brutally honest" clear the air talks in the wake of the disastrous second Test loss to Pakistan over the weekend, Ian Bell has revealed.
The tourists slumped to a 72-run defeat in Abu Dhabi to lose the three-match series and Bell admitted the side's middle order has to shoulder responsibility for poor batting displays in both matches so far.
Chasing 145 to win, England were bowled out for 72, with left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman taking 6-25. To date, Bell has scored just 36 runs in four innings.
"The batsmen all sat down with Andy Flower and spoke together about what we have done and the mistakes we've made and how we want to get better," Bell is quoted in the Daily Telegraph. "There had to be honesty, even if it upset someone, as there was no point saying we were great the last two years and nothing is wrong.
"There are some players who are really proud, certainly over the last two years, about their performances. We don't like playing like we have done in the last two Test matches and we are all desperate to start scoring runs in the subcontinent.
"If we can do that, we can start moving forward again, which is what we want to do."
The last time England held a similar meeting was in Jamaica three years ago after they were bowled out for 51 in the opening Test. Bell subsequently lost his place in the side but he is under significantly less pressure among the middle-order batsmen this time around, despite having scored just 36 runs in his four innings.
"That was the right decision," said Bell. "I hadn't scored runs for a while. It's a different scenario now. I've played consistently well for two years."
Instead, Eoin Morgan finds his position most under threat, having scored just 41 runs but without the support of a successful Test record in 2011.
"We have sat down and spoken about things that we need to improve and that we need to start doing," Bell is quoted in the Guardian. "That might not happen by the next Test but we have Sri Lanka coming up and India so we have to talk about it now.
"We have to be honest, get it out and get it done. There is no point putting it off until Sri Lanka because we might make the same mistakes again."
He also recognised the threat posed by Pakistan's spinners: "They've bowled at a good pace; it's real quick spin, which has taken me a bit by surprise. They've bowled particularly well at the new batter coming in.
"I like to use my feet. I'd like to be able to do that to [Saeed] Ajmal but I just haven't been in there long enough to put my game plan to the test."
"I always remember watching Graham Thorpe play [in Sri Lanka] and getting right down the wicket or deep back in the crease. He used to pop down and hit one over mid-on, or get back and knock his singles and that's the style we need.
"Sometimes you have to take a cultivated punt just to put the pressure back on the bowler, create a gap where you want a single."