London: England batsman Ian Bell believes that the presence of Duncan Fletcher as coach will be a huge advantage for India in the forthcoming four-match Test series starting on Thursday at Lord's.

Fletcher coached the England team from 1999 to 2007 and also guided them to a historic Ashes win in 2005. India will play their first Test against England at Lord's, beginning on Thursday.

Bell, who has played under Fletcher, said the former Zimbabwe captain has great knowledge of the English players but also insisted that the current team is very different side from the one Fletcher coached for eight years.

"It's great for India. Duncan Fletcher knows English cricket very well and was very successful over here. He knows Straussy well, he knows myself, he knows Kevin Pietersen. I'm sure we've changed as characters and matured since he's been away, but he'll have a good insight and there's no doubt that's a massive plus for India," Bell said.

"But in world cricket now information, strengths and weakness, everyone knows about them. We have people working non-stop at Loughborough on stats, percentages and stuff like that. There's no hiding place anymore, so while it's an advantage for India to have him, everyone has information about opposition."

Bell said Fletcher has an unbelievable cricket brain and that is his strength.

"He's quite a quiet man and goes about his business in his own way. He'll know everything about what England have. In 2005, he was a massive part of the plans we had for the Australians - like going round the wicket to Adam Gilchrist - and he's got an unbelievable cricket brain. That's his massive strength. We know he's an incredible coach," he said.

(Agencies)