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-   -   The Official Ian Bell Thread (http://www.cricket247.org/community/showthread.php?t=3060)

Michelle Fivefer 17th July 2007 00:29

The Official Ian Bell Thread
 
Discussion of Ian Bell crops up in lost of threads but the only ones devoted to him so far have been rather negative (Is his ODI career over? and Psyduck's take). With the India test series coming up I thought it was about time he had a proper thread of his own. I can't imagine why I've not started one before.;)

The coming series is an important one for Bell. He has now played tests v 5 countries. Against Pakistan he has performed outstandingly well at home and abroad. He has played creditably against West Indies, and obviously he got all those infamous runs v. Bangladesh. After a very disappointing Ashes series in 2005 he lifted his performance against the Aussies in the winter, although he is yet to score an Ashes century. However, his worst record is against India, and this test series gives him the opportunity to put that right.

Australia Mtch 10 runs 502 hs 87 ave 25.1 100s 0 50s 6
B'desh 2 227 162* - 1 1
India 3 131 57 21.83 0 1
Pakistan 7 688 119 68.8 4 2
W Indies 5 297 109* 49.5 1 2

Overall 27 1845 162* 43.92 6 12

(The Australian ave is still pretty poor but it is pulled back by the 17.1 from 2005)

After the Ashes 05 he was nearly dropped by Duncan Fletcher but injuries to others gave him another chance and he seized the opportunity, being leading England run scorer and topping the averages. Unfortunately in the following series in India Bell took a step backwards, with just one half century and an average under 22. After this he really was dropped and missed the Sri Lanka series in England. However, once again he got back into the team for the Pakistan series with the injury to Flintoff, and has retained his place ever since. These days when we discuss who should be dropped when Flintoff comes back into the team the focus has moved on to Strauss.

But Bell had better not get too comfortable. As I said, he has something to prove against the Indians and I am looking forward to seeing him come out on top this time.

cabinboy 17th July 2007 00:47

Well, I thought there already were a number of Belly threads, but hey why not another one.

Can't see his position being under threat until next summer to be honest. The only batsman who's up against it at the moment is Strauss who could get jettisoned for Flintoff in Sri Lanka. Apart from that, it's plain sailing all the way for both Bell & Cook.

Fatslogger 17th July 2007 00:48

I well remember the dreadful death rattle as Kumble bowled him trying to cut the googly for 38 in one of only two remotely useful innings in India. I suspect he's a rather better player now and I'd be surprised if he fails to demonstrate as much.

Joe Diddly 17th July 2007 00:50

He's doing pretty well at the test level, has played some crucial innings but the best is yet to come I feel.

Could do with realising his potential in ODIs though, but that applies to many of our players.

Michelle Fivefer 17th July 2007 00:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by cabinboy (Post 73349)
Well, I thought there already were a number of Belly threads, but hey why not another one.

Can't see his position being under threat until next summer to be honest. The only batsman who's up against it at the moment is Strauss who could get jettisoned for Flintoff in Sri Lanka. Apart from that, it's plain sailing all the way for both Bell & Cook.

There haven't been any proper permanent threads like we have for Cook and Anderson et al. Only threads started with the intention of telling us how useless Bell is. :p Or other threads in which Bell comes under discussion. So I hope you will forgive me for starting this one. :)

I do get worried though when people say it's plain sailing. Until you're up there with the best in the world you're only as good as your last match.

Fatslogger 17th July 2007 00:59

The sailing plainly isn't plain but Bell isn't first in line for the drop at present.

beefy 17th July 2007 07:19

He is a mighty fine player. Since the disappointing tour of India he did magnificently v Pakistan and did well enough in Australia for a young player on his first Australian tour. He also did well against the West Indies last month, averaging 45? He seems to like the move down to no6 and has done well playing there. I really hope he will show his class v India on home pitches and then cement his place for years to come.
Collingwood is in a similar position imo, both were fighting for one spot last year, then both hit great form in Pakistan, then both levelled out to be very good players. However as Bell struggled in India, Collingwood also went through a very rough patch in the mid-late Ashes tour/ODI's, was his honeymoon period coming to an end?
I think both have shown their class, and despite the odd rough patch Bell in particular has time on his side, and plenty of natural talent to be among the worlds better batsmen for the extended future.
It has also helped England immensely having a lad who averages in the 40's coming to the crease from the middle-middle/lower order.

2 centuries during the India series please Mr Bell.

Psyduck 17th July 2007 13:08

Where do you think Bell should bat in the test team Michelle?

Michelle Fivefer 17th July 2007 13:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psyduck (Post 73455)
Where do you think Bell should bat in the test team Michelle?

He wants to bat at 3 and should bat at 3 but is prevented because that is also Vaughan's desired position. He's doing fine at 6 though and I am happy with that for the time being. It's a good place to get unbeaten centuries.;)

He has played 18 innings as a no. 3 bat and his average is only 35.22 and no hundreds in that position. Ten of those innings were in the Ashes last winter, rather a stern test after doing so well at 6 v. Pakistan last summer. But hopefully he will move up the order eventually and consolidate his claim.

cabinboy 17th July 2007 13:30

Bell's performing well at number six, but I think to be a top batsman, you shouldn't be batting below five. Nor will he have that option if Flintoff gets back into team.

Michelle Fivefer 17th July 2007 14:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by cabinboy (Post 73468)
Bell's performing well at number six, but I think to be a top batsman, you shouldn't be batting below five. Nor will he have that option if Flintoff gets back into team.

That is one caveat about Bell batting at six. It creates an assumption among some people that he is therefore not a top batsman. The fact that he only came into that position in the first place as a short-term replacement for the injured Flintoff and was expected to be dropped altogether thereafter helped foster this assumption.

But when Flintoff does return to the test side, he shouldn't be the one to be dropped given Strauss's current form. We'll have to see what happens during the India series of course. But if Strauss is dropped, Vaughan might move up to open and Bell move up to 3.

I agree that Flintoff should now bat below Prior.

Joe Diddly 17th July 2007 14:08

If you are scoring centuries you are a good batsman wherever you bat! Bell batting at three has currently not really worked, but hasn't he mainly done it against Australia?

Michelle Fivefer 17th July 2007 14:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Right Reverend Joe Diddly (Post 73481)
If you are scoring centuries you are a good batsman wherever you bat! Bell batting at three has currently not really worked, but hasn't he mainly done it against Australia?

See post #10 above. He batted at 3 in the winter series but at 4 in the Ashes 05.

cabinboy 17th July 2007 15:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michelle Fivefer (Post 73478)
That is one caveat about Bell batting at six. It creates an assumption among some people that he is therefore not a top batsman. The fact that he only came into that position in the first place as a short-term replacement for the injured Flintoff and was expected to be dropped altogether thereafter helped foster this assumption.

But when Flintoff does return to the test side, he shouldn't be the one to be dropped given Strauss's current form. We'll have to see what happens during the India series of course. But if Strauss is dropped, Vaughan might move up to open and Bell move up to 3.

I agree that Flintoff should now bat below Prior.

That's why Bell needs to get himself up the order, if only to prove the doubters wrong. Otherwise, there is the risk that when a selector is picking his batting line-up, they don't read beyond the 5th batter.

I agree that Strauss is currently the player most at risk, though Vaughan's position isn't as cemented as much as when he talked it up in April-May. He's already lost the battle to keep his one day place and Moores et al don't seem entrenched in sentiment and past glories.

Regarding Flintoff & Prior, Ive no strong feelings about which bats at six and which bats at seven. Prior's the better batsman, but both players should be pretty interchangable.

Joe Diddly 17th July 2007 15:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michelle Fivefer (Post 73482)
See post #10 above. He batted at 3 in the winter series but at 4 in the Ashes 05.

So yes, in a roundabout type of way. He has batted at 3 nine times, 5 against Australia and twice each against India and Pakistan.

Aidan11 17th July 2007 16:42

Does this make all the other Ian Bell threads "unofficial"?

CoE 17th July 2007 17:11

Ian Bell should definitely bat at 6. He has a fantastic record there and it gives the lower middle order serious weight. I am pretty sure that it is best for the team with him at 6.

collingwood5 17th July 2007 17:45

He is a fine batsman when at no6, but for the good of the country he should stay away from the top order

stevieh 17th July 2007 18:54

Thought I'd add this information re Bell's fortunes with the LG Test Batting Rankings in 2007:

Successive ratings:
671 679 658 665 648
Successive position in the rankings:
16 14 19 19 21
Successive position within the England batsmen rankings:
4 3 4 4 4 4

Michelle Fivefer 17th July 2007 21:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aidan11 (Post 73504)
Does this make all the other Ian Bell threads "unofficial"?

As far as I'm aware there haven't been many other Bell threads, Aidan. I think I would have noticed them. The only two recent ones were about his place in the ODI side and one started by Psyduck with his view of his shortcomings as an England player. ;)

As for the official bit - that is partly because Ian Bell's name is too short to stand alone as a thread title, so I used a bit of licence. And of course that does mean that all other Bell threads will indeed by unofficial. :p :cheesy:


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