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Old 2nd August 2007, 15:14   #101
Vaughanforever
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Colly is still riding on the back of his double hundred in Australia, which shot him up the rankings. Despite a few indifferent games he has stayed up around the 14-16 mark. Bell, Cook and Strauss are now huddled together in the rankings, waiting for someone to break free - in either direction!
Much as I love Ian Bell as a player he is not performing as he should.
The ranking are pretty accurate reflections of the relative merits of players and Colly is rightly higher then Bell etc on results (they dont take account of dropped catches as we maybe do). Results wise Colly has performed better than Bell.
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Old 5th August 2007, 14:23   #102
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Vic Marks proposed Bell to be dropped in favour of Bopara for the third test in today's Observer. Guess we know who he thinks should make way for a returning Flintoff.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/sport...141843,00.html

My inclination would be to replace Bell with Ravi Bopara. Initially, this conclusion was reached on purely cricketing grounds. Bell has not been contributing much in the latter half of this summer. In his last six Test innings his highest score is 31; he has dropped the odd half-chance; he no longer bowls or is no longer invited to bowl.

He also seems to think Bell was the prime protaganist in jellybeangate.
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Old 5th August 2007, 15:22   #103
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Probably just as well Marks isn't a selector then.
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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 5th August 2007, 15:40   #104
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I think Belly needs a good un at the Oval otherwise the golem will get em.
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Old 5th August 2007, 17:48   #105
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He'll be on the winter tour regardless. If we lose the series against India there are others who should look at themselves and say they should have done better.
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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 6th August 2007, 00:32   #106
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He'll be on the winter tour regardless. If we lose the series against India there are others who should look at themselves and say they should have done better.
True enough but Bell will be the batsman to be dropped, in all probability.
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Old 6th August 2007, 10:28   #107
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If we lose the series against India there are others who should look at themselves and say they should have done better.
Indeed. If we lose the series it will be largely down to that Friday afternoon's play at Trent Bridge, when Bell scored more than anyone but Cook.
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Old 6th August 2007, 10:32   #108
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Indeed. If we lose the series it will be largely down to that Friday afternoon's play at Trent Bridge, when Bell scored more than anyone but Cook.
The problem is though is that take away the 1st test against some inept Windies bowling, he's been poor this summer and although others have batted carelessly he's been no better and is back to his 05/06 stage of finding ways to get out, particularly on the tour to India.
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Old 6th August 2007, 13:52   #109
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The problem is though is that take away the 1st test against some inept Windies bowling, he's been poor this summer and although others have batted carelessly he's been no better and is back to his 05/06 stage of finding ways to get out, particularly on the tour to India.
And the second test v. the same inept Windies bowling when he got 97. Bell has had low scores in his last few innings since then but it took treble that number of poor innings before there was even a murmer about Strauss. That's fair enough given that Strauss did very well in his first few years, I suppose, but when Bell is accused of dropping "the odd half-chance" I think that is scraping the barrel of reasons to drop him, given the value of his close-fielding to Panesar.
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Old 6th August 2007, 14:00   #110
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Bell is going through a bad patch, I have no doubt thathe'll get out of it.
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Old 6th August 2007, 14:09   #111
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Good move to leave him out of the twenty20 squad he can go back to his county and get back into some kind of nick ready for the winter tours.
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Old 6th August 2007, 14:20   #112
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And the second test v. the same inept Windies bowling when he got 97. Bell has had low scores in his last few innings since then but it took treble that number of poor innings before there was even a murmer about Strauss. That's fair enough given that Strauss did very well in his first few years, I suppose, but when Bell is accused of dropping "the odd half-chance" I think that is scraping the barrel of reasons to drop him, given the value of his close-fielding to Panesar.
In all fairness murmurs about Strauss started around the 3rd test, although you could argue that he should have received a bit more attention after the Ashes, you could have said that for everyone bar KP and Colly. Bell just doesn't come across as authoratative enough compared to Colly for instance and I guess that's why he starts to get mentioned as the next drop.
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Old 6th August 2007, 14:28   #113
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Good move to leave him out of the twenty20 squad he can go back to his county and get back into some kind of nick ready for the winter tours.
Or get some rest.

You are assuming he'll actually be picked by Warwickshire.
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Old 6th August 2007, 18:05   #114
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In all fairness murmurs about Strauss started around the 3rd test, although you could argue that he should have received a bit more attention after the Ashes, you could have said that for everyone bar KP and Colly. Bell just doesn't come across as authoratative enough compared to Colly for instance and I guess that's why he starts to get mentioned as the next drop.
I agree he has been disappointing against India, especially as he had something to prove after the last time he played them. On present showing he is indeed the most expendable batsman if one of them has to make room for Flintoff. I see no reason, though, for him to be dropped to make way for an untried batsman at test level like Bopara. And, as I said before, for Vic Marks to suggest that his fielding is shoddy enough for him to make way is frankly ludicrous.
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Old 6th August 2007, 18:12   #115
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Vic Marks proposed Bell to be dropped in favour of Bopara for the third test in today's Observer. Guess we know who he thinks should make way for a returning Flintoff.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/sport...141843,00.html

My inclination would be to replace Bell with Ravi Bopara. Initially, this conclusion was reached on purely cricketing grounds. Bell has not been contributing much in the latter half of this summer. In his last six Test innings his highest score is 31; he has dropped the odd half-chance; he no longer bowls or is no longer invited to bowl.

He also seems to think Bell was the prime protaganist in jellybeangate.
Well, he has to write about something...clearly he had nothing better to write this week.
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Old 6th August 2007, 18:38   #116
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Well, he has to write about something...clearly he had nothing better to write this week.
It's a little mean of Vic Marks to do the dirty on his fellow Guardian/Observer columnnist Ian Bell. No honour among press hacks, obviously. Marks has decided that Bell is to blame for the jelly bean incident because of what Bell says in his own column last week. Bell says:
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We had been in the field so long by Sunday evening that we were just trying to keep spirits up. Nothing personal was intended for Zaheer Khan, but we can all see that this hasn't been good for the team and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again. The odd thing is I have seen stuff such as this go on hundreds of times in county cricket. Someone might leave a sweet wrapper on a good length, but the batsman just tends to kick it away. It's happened on plenty of occasions before. It's just that it's never been brought up or magnified in this way. I should also add that nothing was thrown in Zaheer's direction, as has been suggested. It's a shame, because the whole episode has detracted from what was a cracking game of cricket.
The use of the word "we" means either he did it and isn't saying so in so many words, or is protecting someone else by taking joint responsibility, or that a few of them decided the plan between them. I tend to the latter. I realise this topic has generated enough discussion on another thread but I'm only talking about the Marks/Bell angle here.

To quote from the Vic Marks article again:

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This prompted me to do something unusual, which was to scour Ian Bell's column in the Guardian to try to understand how the modern Test cricketer functions. 'Chatter,' he says, 'is just a way of keeping the energy going in the team. It's important to help the bowlers, especially if Monty is on and there are men around the bat. We are always working at ways to turn ourselves into the number-one side in the world and we're looking at tiny percentages where we can be better.'

Here is a modest suggestion for the England players - try to spend a little more time working on how to play the swinging ball and rather less dreaming up gormless pranks or the odd-one liner that might conceivably irritate an opponent. Then the percentages might not be so tiny. Moreover, if Test cricket has become so dull and draining - 'We had been in the field so long that we were just trying to keep our spirits up' was Bell's explanation for that hilarious placement of the jelly beans on the pitch - then perhaps he might like to try an alternative, more interesting pursuit elsewhere.

It is true that the modern international cricketer plays so much Test cricket that he is more likely to become bored or blasť about what was once the pinnacle of any cricketer's career. There is no longer any time for those relaxing, humdrum outings in county cricket. As a result the importance of a Test match might diminish in Bell's eyes.

In all these matters the lead comes from the captain and coach. Neither was on the field when the events that led to the jelly-bean furore took place (Michael Vaughan had slipped off for an over or two). But both have shown their yearning for 'combative' cricketers especially behind the stumps.

I was going to stress that this had nothing to do with jelly beans. Bell, it is alleged - and we must be careful here because The Observer can scarce afford a damaging court case on this issue - was the man who stationed the offending pair of beans on a good length when Zaheer came to the crease. You cannot drop a man for that. But if he is so bored with Test cricket that he has to resort to such silly japes to keep his spirits up...
I normally enjoy what Vic Marks has to say but this time he has definitely gone too far. He talks about damaging court cases but he is quoting what Bell says in the Observer's sister paper. To extrapolate from a comment that the players were trying to keep their spirits up after a long fairly fruitless afternoon in the field that Ian Bell is tired of test cricket is the worst sort of cheap journalism and Marks should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.

P.S. I have been away for the weekend and haven't caught up with many threads but I have never heard it said that Bell was the guilty one, much though it would have pleased the tabloids to use the headline Jelly Belly.
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Old 6th August 2007, 18:41   #117
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I agree that Vic Marks wrote a very unimpressive article this week, riddled with strange leaps of logic and poor analysis. I think Bopara's chance will probably come soon enough at test level but there's no way Bell should make way for him at the Oval.
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Old 6th August 2007, 19:32   #118
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Bell is going through a poor patch where he has got out for a string of low scores - his highest score since the 97 at OT is 31. He definitely needs a good knock.

Now look at Strauss. He had a poor Ashes series, for reasons which have been debated, with a highest score of 50. He hasn't made a hundred since last August. This summer he made 77 in the last WI test match, so we thought it might be the beginning of a return to form, and then was on the verge of a century in the Lord's India test. You haven't made a ton for a year, you're on 96, so what do you do? You get there in singles, if necessary, that's what. You don't try to do it in style by charging down the pitch and attempted to hit the spinner for 6, do you? Not if you're not KP anyway, or you're not in the form of your life. I know he must be cursing that shot every day, but with his place being called into question in some quarters he neeced to make absolutely sure that he made that 100. There is an air of abstraction about his batting which worries me when he surely has quite a lot to prove.

Bell has been accused of not converting enough 50s into 100s but at the moment he's not getting anywhere near 50, which is unusual for him. I'd like to think that now he's in this run drought he will make the most of any opportunities in his next few games and ensure that if he does get the foundation of a good innings he will go on to consolidate it with a three figure score, preferably a big one.
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Old 6th August 2007, 19:47   #119
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It's sink or swim time for him one would think. Pressure on himself to get a score, and pressure on the team to save the series. He's got a bit to do, but I'd be more worried if he'd looked in horrible touch in the recent Tests.
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Old 6th August 2007, 20:09   #120
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It's sink or swim time for him one would think. Pressure on himself to get a score, and pressure on the team to save the series. He's got a bit to do, but I'd be more worried if he'd looked in horrible touch in the recent Tests.
Bell has now played six consecutive innings without a fifty. Before that, the most was four, on two occasions: the first two matches in Ashes 05 and the last two matches in the same series, separated by two half-centuries in the Old Trafford test match.

In contrast, Paul Collingwood, for example, played his first 8 test innings with a top score of 36 - before making 96 80 and 134* in his next 3 innings. Since then he has frequently had runs of low scores in between big ones, as many as six and seven on occasion.

Indifferently as Bell is playing at the moment - although it is true to say he has looked in cracking form then somehow got out - It's surely a bit premature to say it's "sink or swim time" on the strength of six consecutive low scores when he still has an average in the forties and there could be a big score around the corner. My previous post about Strauss made the point that he has been in poor form and had the opportunity to make a big score and prove the doubters wrong. He failed to take that opportunity with both hands, and I hope that Bell won't make that mistake.

Unfortunately if a place has to be made for Flintoff in the winter I guess the person to go will have to be the one not contributing at the time, and that is Bell. I hope that they will stick with four bowlers and six batsmen, but if not I really hope that it doesn't mean the end of Bell's test career.
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