Tag Archive: Ian Bell


Stuart Broad is congratulated by his England team-mates as his six wickets help England win another Ashes series (Image | Action)

Stuart Broad is congratulated by his England team-mates as his six wickets help England win another Ashes series (Image | Action)

The 2013 Ashes Series (mark 1) has not always been a display of two world-leading teams giving each other their best shot. There has been inconsistency of umpiring, sub-par batting aplenty and the occasional, inevitable washout.

What this series has had throughout, however, is drama. It was punctuated in characteristic style at Durham this weekend by the stoic Ian Bell, unarguably the outstanding performer of the series thus far.

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The first two tests were resigned to draws after weather forced New Zealand, and then England, into accepting a stalemate where they would otherwise have cantered to victory.

Prior commitment | England captain Alastair Cook embraces Matt Prior after his century against New Zealand. (Image | The Telegraph)

Prior commitment | England captain Alastair Cook embraces Matt Prior after his century against New Zealand. (Image | The Telegraph)

As a result, the series came down to the third and final test on an exceptionally flat pitch at Eden Park in Auckland.

Surely England, so recently victorious in India and sitting second in the ICC world rankings, could beat a New Zealand side down in eighth that have only beaten Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since 2006?

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Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen were two of England's best performers with the bat - especially in Mumbai (Image | S. Subramanium via the Hindu Business Times)

Leading lights | Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen were two of England’s best performers with the bat, especially in Mumbai. (Image | S. Subramanium via Hindu Business Times)

India is not supposed to be a happy hunting ground for the England cricket team.

The slow, dusty wickets and near-Equatorial climate have caused England no end of problems in recent tours, and the Three Lions were without a Test series win in India in 25 years until the events of the past few weeks.

Now, not only have Alistair Cook‘s side delivered Test triumph, but a seriously depleted Twenty20 side have made a statement ahead of the build-up to the South Africa series next summer.

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England’s final Test

They’ve been the world’s best Test side since the start of the year, but now England can secure their legacy if they overcome the best bowling attack in cricket (Image | Reuters)

England have been a significant power at the top end of world cricket for long enough now to prove that it’s no fluke. Fans can rub their eyes and realise they’re not dreaming. After a generation of enduring mediocrity, and sometime worse, the phrase “English cricket” is no longer a national punchline.

England are officially the world’s best side at the five-day format of the game – a reign that’s lasted almost a year. They have just come off the back of playing five one-day matches against Australia. While Australia are currently ranked the planet’s finest at the 50-over version of the sport, they took a pasting – England hammered them 4-0, and probably would have made it a whitewash had this unseasonable English summer not intervened.

But while all may currently be rosy in the English garden, there is a potential thorn on the horizon, in the form of South Africa.

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