Ian Bell is the second England batsman to score a hundred in the innings

Another 200-ball 141-run Ian Bell failureLet’s examine the Ian Bell fact. You know the one: he only scores hundreds when someone else in the England batting line-up has already made one.

This has just happened against South Africa. Alastair Cook was first and then Ian Bell outstripped him with 141. Let’s just say that the above criticism does not apply today. Ian Bell can’t help what happens before he comes to the crease and he can’t do much more than make a hundred, so today he’s done very well.

So save the Ian Bell fact. Save it for when he fails. That’s when it means something. It’s not the hundreds he does score that are the problem, it’s those he doesn’t score. A second hundred in an innings is actually pretty handy and puts England in a far better position to go for a win.

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10 Appeals

  1. And he can catch too, it seems.

    English batsmen seem to have the knack of scoring career-saving innings (Cook, Bell, Collingwood, not so much in this match, but he’s done it before), added to the knack of needing a career-saving innings every eighteen months or so.

  2. This is coming dangerously close to expressing an opinion about Ian Bell, but it annoys me that he provides just enough evidence for people to say that he’s a quality player, and also more than enough evidence for people to say he’s rubbish.

  3. You made fun of Watson, he scores a century.
    Make fun of Bell, he makes a century.
    Can you please make fun of some Indian batsmen here…

  4. One thing that never seems to get mentioned whenever the whole tedious ‘no century unless someone else already has one’ chestnut is wheeled out is that one of said centuries was the one where he nursemaided Strauss to his career saving ton against NZ.

  5. KC has it right, though, Daneel. The criticism isn’t about when these guys get their centuries, it’s about when they don’t. The problem is that the centuries they do score only act to highlight the barren months.

    Decent players score centuries when others do. Better players also score centuries when no-one else gets fifty, which as far as Bell is concerned is a tradition more honoured in the breach than in t’observance.

    (Website standards raising task complete)

  6. Point taken, but even if Bell’s better at setting up wins than staving off defeats that’s still a useful skill and I like him in the side (better him than, say, Bopara or Shah any day of the week). I’m fed up seeing him compared to Hick or Ramprakash when he’s far more successful than either and has a record that (superficially, at least) isn’t greatly different from Collingwood or Cook.

    Who would you rather have? Do you believe we’d be in this position if we’d picked Luke Wright instead?

    Don’t know about you, but I still remember the 90s when it was a good season for England if the whole team managed a century between them in the summer…

    Bell equalled Robin Smith’s total number of centuries today, and in 11 less tests.

  7. If we are trading “fair points”, Daneel, I will give you a fair point on your Robin Smith fact. Brilliant.

    I c an’t think of anyone better than Bell or Collingwood, but that’s what worries me.

  8. By the way, I’ve rarely felt as old as when I’m asked if I remember the 90s. Yes I do, and the 80s, and a part of the 70s as well.

  9. Bell needs a good shrink. Too uptight = defensive = can’t bat. Goes postive and looks good.

    Could the key factor in his century have been the new mug shot he had ?? He has lots of stubble and a creditable attempt at a mean stare [which still makes him look like a prat]. Maybe thinking that he looks hard ups his confidence.

    So, I think a psych, a make over and a new mug shot would work wonders for his confidence. The make-over being a good slashing with a broken bottle after 10 rounds with Rocky V.

    Yeh, Yeh …. too long a post.

  10. So I’m guessing today is a good day to criticise Ian Bell for not scoring a century…

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