Thursday, 7 January 2010

Ian Bell (who else)

Ian Bell, much derided on these pages has finally played an innings that mattered in the context of the game. Ian Bell is a bit like a bus – you wait ages for him to do something significant and then he does it twice in a match. The Cape Town match was Bell’s fifty-second Test match and by my reckoning the first innings he has played that made a substantial difference to the result. At the start of the day South Africa were definitely favourites to win the game and Bell and Collinwood denied them. Why has it taken Bell so long to produce some innings that matter? You could argue (in fact I probably have) that if you give any player enough chances they will eventually do something significant. In Bell’s case though, his technique and ability always suggested something greater – that he was good enough to play Test cricket – he just couldn’t because of a mental problem. They say top sport is mostly played in the head and Bell seems a prime example of that. He would make the best looking innings of 32 you have seen and then get out in a silly fashion - repeatedly. I would suggest today’s innings was the best he has ever played. Let’s hope he has learnt something from this Test and that this is not a one-off.


Fred said...

I was saying Bell shouldn't be in the team and hats off to him for the way he has batted in the last two tests. But that is the thing, he hasn't always batted like this.

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