Ian Bell’s made larger steps towards forcing us into an opinion before now. Yesterday’s 84 not out against Bangladesh was more of a shuffle, but we like that he got the job done – because that is, after all, the whole point.
Number three is a funny spot in one-day cricket. Earlier this week, we wrote that it was the worst spot for Kevin Pietersen. For exactly the same reasons, it’s probably the best slot for Ian Bell. That doesn’t mean we think Ian Bell’s a better batsman, because we don’t. We just think they have different styles of play and the formulaic nature of one-day cricket means they’re suited to different parts of the innings.
We feel a bit wobbly after that outpouring of opinion. That’s enough for one year. We’re going to have to eat boiled potatoes and listen to XFM for the next few months now in a non-committal bland-land where all anyone says is ‘don’t know’ and ‘not bothered either way’.