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Old 18th July 2007, 21:50   #41
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(remember our bet Psy? )
I sure do. I can't remember the stake though...
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:13   #42
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Don't worry - it was only a tenner!
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:21   #43
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And the bet was....? (sorry, dodgy memory)
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:22   #44
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Ian Bell to captain England. Bet made in January 2006.
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:29   #45
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Ian Bell to captain England. Bet made in January 2006.
Was there a time limit? It could still happen.
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Speaking to Geoff Cook today they may released Mark Wood from Durham. He rates him but the kid has had an operation and maybe one too many bowlers on the books type deal.
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:32   #46
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No time limit - and I reckon it still will.
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:33   #47
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So does the bet include England suffering 15 terrible injuries and Bell being given the reigns for a one off ODI as they decide he is just better than any of the 10 debutants?
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:34   #48
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So does the bet include England suffering 15 terrible injuries and Bell being given the reigns for a one off ODI as they decide he is just better than any of the 10 debutants?
yawn...
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Old 20th July 2007, 22:59   #49
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If people want to be convinced why Bell shouldn't be batting at no. 6, today offered the perfect evidence, from a less than perfect performance by Bell and the England batsmen.

Sure, Bell has scored four hundreds, three of them not out, from this position. But that does not mean it is necessarily the best he can do. His best chance of scoring hundreds at 6 would be coming in with a good score already on the board and a batsman to stay with him for a while. This is not to say, as critics have done, that he only goes well when the going is easy. His 97 at Old Trafford recently was a gritty effort after coming in with the score on 132/4 to take the score up to 338.

Today we saw another of the perils of batting at 6 - the insertion of the dreaded nightwatchman. The point of the nwm is to protect the batsman from the strike but last night Ryan faced 5 balls for 0 while KP hit 3 fours. Ho-Hum. When Sidebottom got out this afternoon, having made 1, it meant that Bell was now batting at 7. Meanwhile Sidebottom had spent time in the middle neither adding runs or particularly protecting Pietersen from the strike. The new ball hadn't even been taken, although due. Bell, a proper batsman, had to wait in the pavilion. When he eventually came out to bat Pietersen was out for 37, having added 3 to his overnight score.

The no. 6 batsman, now batting out of position at 7, can't legislate for what his partners do and his own performance cannot be blamed on his partners, but when the no. 7 batsman, now batting at 8, gets out for 1 in the following over, it did not leave Bell with a lot of options. Unusually enough Bell was playing far more aggressive cricket than normal, and even hit a six, not the most convincing one you will ever see. Strange to see that Cook and Bell in this innings had the highest strike rates, 92 and 83.

With Tremlett come and gone for a duck, Bell, on 10, was left with Panesar. After scoring a four off the first ball of the subsequent over, he carefully watched the next three balls, then took a single, leaving Panesar to face the last ball. At this point he gave Panesar clear instructions about what to do next. Panesar duly obliged and Bell was on strike for the next over. Bell hit the first ball for what looked like 2 runs but the return came in quickly and he was stranded at the other end. Panesar dealt with the rest of the over quite competently. However, a couple of overs later when Bell trusted Monty yet again to face five balls it didn't happen and Monty was out. Anderson could be trusted even less, and it was now up to Bell alone to score some runs to get the score over 300. And so much for a not-out as he got an inside edge and played it on to the stumps, not to mention not getting to the 300.

Bell came into bat at 272/5 and was last out with the England total on 298. 26 runs had been scored, 20 of them made by Bell, 1 by Prior, 4 leg-byes and a wide; and five wickets lost.

This is perhaps an extreme example of what can go wrong. It looks as if all the England players saw the lake in the outfield and decided they'd prefer to stay in the dressing roon and watch the Open. But the point remains that this is not the ideal place for this particular batsman to ply his trade. He's not a big hitter like Flintoff and Prior who could go for broke in such a situation (although that didn't work for Prior today), he's a classical batsman who wants to play his strokes and build a proper innings from further up the order. I hope he will be given this opportunity soon.
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Old 20th July 2007, 23:28   #50
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Well he will just have to move him up to 5.

I always thought the nightwatchman's job was to hold up an end till stumps and made sure that he didn't get out and expose a new batsman. Meanwhile at the other end is usually a batsman that is in and wouldn't be worrying about the bowling so I would expect him to take much of the bowling.

Isn't it harder for the nightwatchman, a non-batsman, to come in and usually face the new ball and/or a bowler with his tail up having just taken a wicket?

I wouldn't have a nightwatchman at all.
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Old 20th July 2007, 23:32   #51
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Well he will just have to move him up to 5.

I always thought the nightwatchman's job was to hold up an end till stumps and made sure that he didn't get out and expose a new batsman. Meanwhile at the other end is usually a batsman that is in and wouldn't be worrying about the bowling so I would expect him to take much of the bowling.

Isn't it harder for the nightwatchman, a non-batsman, to come in and usually face the new ball and/or a bowler with his tail up having just taken a wicket?

I wouldn't have a nightwatchman at all.
Neither would I. The night-watchman's job has been described as protecting the batsman at the other end from the striike - to ensure that that man is there the next day. This means he should be taking the strike. Whether he makes runs or not is immaterial, but he, the non-batsman is there to face the bowling so that the specialist batsman doesn't have to, even though he has the skills to do so. It's crazy.
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Old 20th July 2007, 23:51   #52
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I always thought that the batsman is offered the night-watchman. If this is the case then isn't Bell somewhat to blame for his own downfall?
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Old 20th July 2007, 23:58   #53
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I always thought that the batsman is offered the night-watchman. If this is the case then isn't Bell somewhat to blame for his own downfall?
If that is the case, then yes, but it seems to be a policy decision by England because they absolutely always use a nightwatchman. (Unless anyone knows different).
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:02   #54
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Well I did wonder if they were going to send in a night-watchman before Collingwood came in. I think if it was England's policy always to do that then that was when Sidebottom should've come out.

As it is I think our collapse and Bell's problems being stranded today were more to do with a switching off (of all the England players) because of the weather conditions than an upsetting of the balance by the night-watchman
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:13   #55
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Well I did wonder if they were going to send in a night-watchman before Collingwood came in. I think if it was England's policy always to do that then that was when Sidebottom should've come out.

As it is I think our collapse and Bell's problems being stranded today were more to do with a switching off (of all the England players) because of the weather conditions than an upsetting of the balance by the night-watchman
I agree with your reason for the England collapse, but my main purpose in making the post was to illustrate the pitfalls of being the no. 6 batsman. The night-watchman issue was an additional complication on this occasion, not one that commonly happens, and wasn't the original trigger for posting - but once I started looking at the details, the nwm effect did seem worthy of comment.

My main point is that while many people think Bell is best suited to batting at 6 because of his good results there, it certainly isn't ideal and is not using his talents to their full potential.
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:24   #56
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Bell had a big chance to prove that is he a top player today but I don't really blame him for getting out given the carnage that was going on around him. I know what you mean about him not being the ideal number 6 but I think Colly's results at number 5 have been good enough to retain the position even if he is a little more versatile (and thus better suited to number 6) than Bell.
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:24   #57
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I agree with your reason for the England collapse, but my main purpose in making the post was to illustrate the pitfalls of being the no. 6 batsman. The night-watchman issue was an additional complication on this occasion, not one that commonly happens, and wasn't the original trigger for posting - but once I started looking at the details, the nwm effect did seem worthy of comment.

My main point is that while many people think Bell is best suited to batting at 6 because of his good results there, it certainly isn't ideal and is not using his talents to their full potential.
I'd agree with you there, but unfortunately at this moment in time that's where he is going to have to bat until we have a retirement or someone is dropped for poor form. To not bat at six at the moment would mean swapping with someone, but who would you swap him with (personally I know who I'd swap him with, but I'm afraid Collingwood5 would hit me)?

The other downside for Bell is that batting at six makes him almost forgotten for his exploits. If he hits a hundred off of a good platform it's an afterthough to the good performances of Pietersen or Cook and if he bats well under pressure to lift England to a par score after a collapse most people would say "well that's what he's there for". This is my opinion makes him far more likely to dropped if Flintoff (ever) returns eventhough he might not be the best (or worst) candidate. Blame Michael Vaughan.
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:26   #58
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My main point is that while many people think Bell is best suited to batting at 6 because of his good results there, it certainly isn't ideal and is not using his talents to their full potential.
The problem is Bell's record at number 3 and 4 is poor. His record at number 6 is exceptional. As such I'm not sure moving him up the order would be using his talent to its full potential.
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:58   #59
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Bell had a big chance to prove that is he a top player today but I don't really blame him for getting out given the carnage that was going on around him. I know what you mean about him not being the ideal number 6 but I think Colly's results at number 5 have been good enough to retain the position even if he is a little more versatile (and thus better suited to number 6) than Bell.
The annoying thing today was getting out for 20, below his already poor average of 25 against India. So he has a fair way to go to turn things round against India, but as you say it was just one of those things with the general batting collapse.
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Old 21st July 2007, 01:10   #60
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I'd agree with you there, but unfortunately at this moment in time that's where he is going to have to bat until we have a retirement or someone is dropped for poor form. To not bat at six at the moment would mean swapping with someone, but who would you swap him with (personally I know who I'd swap him with, but I'm afraid Collingwood5 would hit me)?
I agree, this is the problem. If he was to swap with someone I would agree with your suggestion, but moving up higher than that is a question of waiting for a vacancy. As he says, he'd rather bat at 6 than not be in the team at all.

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The other downside for Bell is that batting at six makes him almost forgotten for his exploits. If he hits a hundred off of a good platform it's an afterthough to the good performances of Pietersen or Cook and if he bats well under pressure to lift England to a par score after a collapse most people would say "well that's what he's there for". This is my opinion makes him far more likely to dropped if Flintoff (ever) returns eventhough he might not be the best (or worst) candidate. Blame Michael Vaughan.
Completely agree with the Catch 22 situation but I hope you are wrong about being dropped.

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The problem is Bell's record at number 3 and 4 is poor. His record at number 6 is exceptional. As such I'm not sure moving him up the order would be using his talent to its full potential.
I am meaning to come back to you about the record at 3 and 4 but I need to look into these innings a bit more. It's easy to say that 10 innings against Australia batting at 3 haven't helped, but if he's good enough to bat at 3 he should be good enough to do it against the Aussies.
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