Ian Bell’s year – an actual opinion

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Ian Bell doing the job - it's a better job than ours, to be fair

Don’t be afraid. We’re experimenting with having opinions. We meant to say it before the first Test – and maybe this isn’t the best timing when he’s on 98 not out – but we think Ian Bell will be England’s best batsmen in the next 12 months.

Ashes 2010-11

Bell’s exquisitely constructed batting was rather overshadowed by the two functional tower blocks that were the contributions of Cook and Trott, but he was batting as well as either of them, just with fewer opportunities.

He looked utterly at ease in Brisbane when England made a hash of their first innings and much the same when they were Johnsonned up the jacksie in Perth.

This summer

It was a county match that made us conclude it was to be Bell’s year though. Against Nottinghamshire, in a fairly low-scoring game, he made 139 and then 33 off 16 balls. He was captain too.

It just smacked of a man doing the job. As someone whose work nickname is ‘bare minimum’, we know how difficult that can be.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Mmm. Let’s correct that, shall we?

      We’re not great with years and when people start hyphenating we really struggle.

  1. What can I say? I’m disgusted.

    Long gone are the glory days of the Campaign To Not Feel Particularly Strongly One Way Or Another About Ian Bell.

    For shame.

  2. His toe points toward the deep extra cover region. Clearly, his intention was to drive. His bat handle has turned in his hand and the ball is being lobbed back to the bowler for a gentle return catch.

    Any man who predicts great things for such a player deserves the ‘bare minimum’ tag.

    Harsh, I know.

  3. Clearly you all feel very strongly about not feeling strongly about things.

  4. Yay, Ian Bell. Been my favourite England batsman since Tresco. He went past Smith, Butch and Colly with that innings, too. Knotty and Fat Gatt next up.

  5. Apropos of nothing, I was musing today on the subject of ‘daddy’ hundreds.

    Turns out Trott and Bell both average over 200 once they get to 3 figures, but Matt Prior (by dint of only once being dismissed once getting there) has an century average pushing 500.

    I love abusing statistics.

  6. And as a final interesting comparison for wicketkeeper-batsmen – the worst England player on the list is Geraint Jones, with a pathetic average of 100.

  7. To be honest Bell is already your best batsman. It is also possible for me to watch his innings without lapsing into a coma (unlike Trott who could boer for his country).

    1. We think you meant that, but wonder whether it would be funnier still if it were a typo.

  8. Ian Bell is a fine player who is improving – KC may well have backed the winner.

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