Dubai: England have dropped under-performing batsman Ian Bell from their Test squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced yesterday.

With 7,727 runs, Bell is the eighth-highest Test scorer in England’s history, but the 33-year-old has struggled for form of late and has scored only one Test century since July 2014.

Ian Bell walks back after being dismissed during the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai last month. PIC/Getty Images

Batsmen Nick Compton and Gary Ballance both earn recalls, but Adil Rashid drops out, leaving Moeen Ali and Samit Patel as England’s frontline spinners.

Reacting on Twitter, Bell said: “I’m absolutely gutted not to be selected for the tour to South Africa.

‘Working tirelessly’
“I certainly feel I could have contributed out there and have been working tirelessly to get into the best possible condition for the tour.”

England arrive in South Africa on December 11 and are due to play four Test matches, five ODIs and two T20 internationals.