Ian Bell is the meat in a balls-up sandwich

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Ian Bell would be what meat these days? Pastrami?

We normally look forward to Steven Smith turning his arm over. This is partly because of his bowling action, but also because for the most part he’s rubbish. If Smith takes three wickets, this is officially what is known as ‘a balls-up’ on the part of the batting team.

The evening session balls-up followed a second successive 109 from Ian Bell. He would now appear to be the man for an England batting crisis and this is something we’re all just going to have to come to terms with as quickly as possible. His face was very red when he reached three figures. This may or may not be significant.

The repair job, which was carried out in partnership with first Jonathan Trott and then Jonny Bairstow, was necessitated by the morning balls-up with England’s new opening partnership apparently hell-bent on inching its way towards an admonishing statistical piece in one of the broadsheets.

At the end of the day, James Anderson came out as nightwatchman for Stuart Broad. If we’re sticking with the sandwich thing, this amounted to a trace of blue mould on the bread.


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  1. “Deep Cower: I can see the sense in picking him if they are touring the sub-continent, but fail to see his worth in England. You might as well pick Steve Smith for a quick 20-30 runs and the same bowling efficacy.

    King Cricket // July 9th, 2013 at 18:50


    Please. ”

    Can I use the above chance remark from my part to indicate a deep future vision?

    1. The quality of part-time bowlers always needs to be recalibrated for England’s general shiteness against same.

    1. Matt Prior isn’t actually real. He’s a figment of our collective imagination. In a few weeks we’ll wake up and Warren Hegg will be batting at 7 again.

  2. Ryan Harris about Ian Bell:

    “We’ve talked about our batters modelling themselves on him a bit.”

  3. Twitter exchange of the day:


    I have never seen a nightwatchman used for a no9 before. #ashes


    @cricketanalyst wasn’t a night watchman. Swanny and I banged heads while making a brew and were dazed so jimmy took it on

    1. After two recent near misses of being the first team to allow a number 11 to score a century England are holding someone back to try and score it themselves.

  4. just sitting here watching the highlights. some lovely strokes from bell for sure (at this rate sam may have romantic rivals! arf). gorgeous straight drive off siddle… bairstow otoh was pretty lucky to get as far as he did… though having said that, i’ve reached the bit where he starts to look convincing. trouble is, i know he’s due to get out in a minute –

  5. – omfg, what a horrible way to get out… young bairstow may have trouble looking g. boycott in the eye next time they meet…

    (prior won’t exactly be proud of himself either)

    1. Prior’s got runs in the bank though. He can get away with one of those now and again. Bairstow will be absolutely fuming. Should have got a big one. As the actress said to the etc and so on.

    2. My mum would not have hit that full-bunger better than Bairstow, even with a stick of rhubarb.

      Sir Geoffrey’s mum would have done.

      That is the difference between me and Geoffrey Boycott, basically. Maternal rhubarb batting ability.

  6. 109 isn’t a daddy hundred though, is it?

    Granted, it is a bit better than a premature ejaculation hundred, but I’m not sure it even gets as far as an inseminated hundred.

    And face it, Ian Ronald Bell has previous in the 109 department. Recent previous.

    1. The funny thing about it all is the commentators immediately started talking up Clarke after the dismissal. Only the previous delivery had they sniggered at the full toss. Clarke’s decision was not a genius shot by any means, just a desperate, hopeful one.

    2. Not criticism, Sam, merely trying to return this site to its traditional position, which, as I am sure you recall, is to be indifferent to Ian Ronald Bell.

      And yes I know that it is hard to be indifferent in the face of a hat-trick of Ashes hundreds.

      But this is journalism, Sam. Changing your position in the face of changing circumstances is so unjournalistic.

    3. He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the ginger beard. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Ian Bell.

  7. Someone explain to me why Jimmy Anderson sent as nightwatchman for Broad?? What for?? Doesn’t Jimmy do enough for the team without having to lick Sir Stuart’s boots. Discombobulated.

  8. The conditions were perfect for batting, after the first half hour. Bell came out at a safe number five, as Clarke probably will after his failures in the first Test. The hero of the day was Smith. One wicket can be a fluke, even two, not three. In fact, Clarke should have tried him much earlier. Smith is a gutsy cricketer who makes things happen. For more on Clarke’s captaincy, visit Cricketkeeper

  9. Trouble is, the rest of the batting order falls apart when Bell ends.

    You’re welcome.

    1. I found the best way to get traffic to my Flickr account was to post photos from the Summer Solstice naked bicycle parade. You’d be amazed how popular photos of naked ladies are.

    2. I may have been tasked with that challenge before…

      It’s a bit tricky getting near the England dressing room, so bearing in mind ease of access, would you accept a naked Kent cricketer (of your choice, of course) wearing an Ian Bell mask? Or possibly Ceci might be kind enough to oblige with a photoshopped head? IR Bell’s “Rar” face might looking very fetching.

    3. Sarah, I’ve done some research and I think I’ll have to plump for Laura Marsh.

      She doesn’t need to wear the Ian Bell mask.

  10. Have we been lulled into thinking that England are better then they are? All the talk was the Australia are rubbish, and they are not good, but England do not seem much better. And Matt Prior has become rubbish since being named greatest cricketer in the universe or whatever it was a few months ago.

    I like it when England are rubbish though. Takes me back to my youth.

  11. I was just curious, are the titles of LMoG and GLMoG like the title of President in America in that any former incumbent is forever referred to by the title?

    1. No, the title of Lord Megachief of Gold is something that is only held for a 12-month period.

  12. Just wondering what we know at this stage of the series:

    English bowling: Curate’s egg

    English batting: Not as good as we think it should be

    Australian bowling: Very capable of being made to look better than it actually is

    Australian batting: Don’t know – they’re only seven down in the test right now so we haven’t had chance to see any of the batsmen yet.

    And Cricinfo pointed out that the Australian A team was 151 for 9 against a makeshift Zimbabwe team (Warner 6 & 11). Plenty of like-for-like replacements.

    1. Well played Bert, that’s a fantastic, informative comment. Reaching double figures is a great way for Warner to bat his way back into contention.

      I note that he’s also got 9 first class wickets bowling what Cricinfo describe as “Legbreak”. Has anyone seen him bowl? He could be Australia’s next genuine Shane Warne replacement all-rounder.

  13. 30-3 what’s going on?

    I thought it might be a deliberate tactic to get Ian Ronald to the crease, but then they inexplicably sent in Bresnan.

    Has someone let Mrs Windsor back in the ground?

  14. What is happening. Its all a bit mental. Why didn’t the openers try and score runs!!

  15. 30 for 3 twice, and still miles ahead in the match. I don’t understand cricket anymore.

  16. Top comment, Bert. Sums it up.

    Australia’s batting is being made to look worse, if anything, by how well their bowlers are doing and how far ahead England are.

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