Ian Bell making a half-decent fist of things

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Ian Bell made 187 off 145 balls against the Prime Minister’s XI in England’s latest warm-up match. Okay, so it’s not exactly the biggest match ever – Chris Rogers bowled two overs – but what’s more reassuring, making 187 off 145 balls or making 26 off 38?

This constitutes further evidence that Ian Bell is not Alastair Cook. The match also provided evidence that Glenn Maxwell remains Glenn Maxwell. You’ve got to love a man who can score 136 off 91 balls one day and be clean bowled charging down the pitch to leave the ball in a Twenty20 match another day.


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  1. You might want to tell Cricket Australia that Ian Bell is not Alistair Cook, because Cook is the only Englishman to feature prominently in their advertising for the upcoming tri-series. Maybe they didn’t get the memo.

  2. stuff we learned

    Ian Bell’s a high standard player. That can often mean that when a lower standard is presented, he’s excellent. We already knew this about him and so he produced a fine innings that we knew he was capable of. It’s not Bell’s class that’s in doubt, though, or he wouldn’t have several thousand Test runs. It’s his suitability. That remains to be seen.

    James Taylor can do a number 3’s job. Fair enough. Having him and Root seems a bit like two of the same player, but that’s no criticism if they’re two very good players.

    Stuart Broad is almost certainly England’s best bowler in the format, in case there was any doubt about that. Bowled well in 2011 prior to joining in with the rest of injury-shanked England side and will bowl well this year.

    Chris Jordan can bowl filth.

    Glenn Maxwell is dangerous when up against a flat pitch, two offspinners and one of the seamers bowlings filth.

    Ok so we learned nothing but hey ho

  3. Not at all convinced by Jordan. He seems pretty good at bowling wides down leg side, though, if you like that sort of thing.

  4. I like Chris Jordan, but he’s not making a very good case for himself is he? Batting order suddenly looking good, and everyone has gone quiet on wanting Hales in the side.

    1. As did Alastair Cook. And Chris Tavare.

      I’d still like Hales in the side. Instead of Morgan.

  5. Bell is no longer due so must be dropped immediately. Irresponsible to fritter away all those runs in a game like this. How long before he’s due again?

    1. It’s Ian Bell so it’s hard to say. He could score 3 centuries in the next 5 matches or leave us waiting until the dog-end of the India tour.

      Or he could just rip off his face to reveal he’s actually Kevin Pietersen in a comedy Ian Bell suit.

    2. In that case, he’d have scored 50 at most, and stopped halfway through to tweet about the injustice of it all.

    3. Downton’s law. Very intelligent batting from Bell though. He has immediately set out to ensure he is due – or even over due – come the knockout phase of the WC. Perhaps he realised he was prematurely due so used up his runs so that he could come due again at a more opportune moment. Up yours Ed Smith, this is planning. Imagine the calculations to ensure that sufficient due is expended to get past Afgahnistan and the like while reserving maximum due for the knockout phases. http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/812521.html

  6. Some players wear their hearts on their sleeves, so to speak. That is, their contribution to a team is writ large. Some players wear their hearts more subtly, under a plain waistcoat maybe, or in an inside pocket, or even in their pericardium. Some players wear their hearts like one of those hats that women wear at Ascot – very striking and noticeable but of no conceivable point whatsoever. Some players wear their hearts lightly, others wear them painstakingly, and some commenters wear their metaphors down to dust through overuse.

    Ian Bell has a variably visible heart. Sometimes, as yesterday, it is in your face (or in yer face, as I believe the young people say). Sometimes it is still in his kit bag. But when he gets it out to show everyone, people are awestruck at its faintly nauseating beauty. He shows it around, gently cradling it dripping in his hands as onlookers coo softly. Then he puts it away again for another year. But even when it’s still in its box (not his box, you understand, that would be wrong), everyone still remembers what it was like and is breathlessly hopeful that one day soon he might put it on show again.

    In summary, Ian Bell is not Alastair Cook. What he is is Paul Collingwood, that is, a player we won’t truly know the worth of until he’s gone.

    1. We had a dream in which we were Paul Collingwood last night. We were also a vampire, fighting two other vampires.

      Only the anointed vampire could operate the door to the special lair. After beating up one of the other vampires and the other vampire being unable to operate said door, we assumed that we, Vampire Paul Collingwood, were the anointed one.

      Sadly, when we went to operate the door (to shut it, not open it, bizarrely) we found that we were unable. It was a fairly typical PVC patio door, but it didn’t shut properly.

      We tried really slamming it and also lifting it upwards while closing but we couldn’t get it to shut. We presume it was a problem with the lintel and that the whole doorway had become distorted.

      Anyway, when we realised that we couldn’t shut the door and therefore weren’t the anointed one, we awoke with a start.


    2. The combination of you, Paul Collingwood and a vampire must have had some fantastic super powers. Did you try nurdling the door into place, or leaping like a salmon to tip the uppermost corner perfectly into place? Did you maybe try to bite it into place? Perhaps you encouraged it to write a match report and then didn’t publish it for months and months and months into place.

    3. I’m assuming ‘a fairly typical PVC patio door’ refers to the materials used to manufacture the door, rather than meaning a fairly typical Paul ‘Vampire’ Collingwood patio door?

      The latter would suggest that “Paul Collingwood: Vampire” is a common theme in the King’s dreams.

      In any event, it’s a poorly-drawn webcomic waiting to happen.

    4. Good idea, Bert.

      We’ll keep you posted as to whether the PVC door recurs, A P Webster, but we actually meant that it was just a fairly conventional door.

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