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England v South Africa, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day
David Lloyd: Bell rose to the challenge
July 11, 2008
England are in a commanding position, bowlers had another tough day in the field, over to the African batsmen now
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Stuart Broad and Ian Bell, England's men of the day © Getty Images

Andrew Miller: The day was thoroughly dominated by England. They finally declared on 593 for 8. David Lloyd, today's man of the day was Ian Bell.

David Lloyd: Well, he [Ian Bell] moved on to 199 and I felt dreadful on commentary ... I just stated that no England batsman has been dismissed for 199 against South Africa, and bang! There he was [out for 199], he played wonderfully, and it was a fantastic innings.

I wouldn't say that he was under pressure, and he wouldn't have thought that he was under pressure. But he would know that he had a challenge, and he rose through this challenge. The rumble before the game - that Bell only gets runs when it is not tough - well, he showed great responsibility in this innings against a tasty attack, you would say; an attack that is much wanted and has got real pace. Morne Morkel [is] quite an outstanding bowler at 23 years of age, [and] Dale Steyn with his potential pace there. So, 199 is a great effort, but the way he scored his runs would be very pleasing to him. You look at yourself as a player, and think how I have played, and I think he can say ... I will just quote Michael Atherton, he said, "that's the best I have seen him play".

AM: Do you think that has finally silenced the critics, because they have been carping a bit about these soft runs that you've been talking about?

DL: I think it's down to individual players to silence the people who rumble along, and usually they don't rumble along unless there is a cause, you know, frustration. Ian Bell gets pretty runs, he gets 40s and 60s. Ian Bell doesn't get hundreds when it really matters. So the only person who can change that is the individual and I think he has gone a long way to that. I think everybody who are England followers, writers and media people, will know that he is a class player, but demanding something extra - what else have you got? You have to be absolutely ruthless at the crease and not be satisfied with baby hundreds. He had 162 as a career-best against Bangladesh. With greatest respect to Bangladesh you've got to get rid of that. Well, he has done it against [this] South Africa team who have come here with high expectations, but at the end of day two look very weary.

AM: Well, he did not do it alone. Kevin Pietersen pushed on to 152, but the other man who made a big contribution, Stuart Broad. Now we've been talking about him a hell of a lot of late, but 76 today and he has started to look like a proper batsman, hasn't he?

DL: Well, he is going to move himself up the order and that's what England would want to do. Especially, with all the talk that [Andrew] Flintoff will probably play in the second Test match. I think there is no need to be hasty in that regard with Andrew Flintoff, because the team is doing pretty well. So you will see how the result goes here at Lord's, but Broad is going absolutely the right way in the development as a cricketer. He is going to be a genuine allrounder. Whether they do move him up a place, or two places, or give the team a better balance when Flintoff does come in, he might be the one player who goes out of the side, so we wait for that.

In the mean time, the way that he played, and the way that he scored his runs, particularly off the back foot, very much like Chris Broad. And the way that he played off his hip, he stands tall, he is very agile at the crease, he is good on his feet. And as I say he is 22 years of age going absolutely the right way to be an England player for years.

AM: One man who could do with runs but didn't get them today, Paul Collingwood. And it was a very unfortunate way to go for him, wasn't it?

DL: Yes, he got a shocker dismissal, caught at short leg but it was straight off the pad off Paul Harris. I have been scratching my head as to how Paul Harris would take any wickets and that was gifted to him, an unfortunate mistake by Billy Bowden.

So both umpires have made mistakes in this game. Umpire Harper with the dismissal of Andrew Strauss and then this one today. If we've had referrals then both batsmen would have survived; the umpires would have been very comfortable with it, because they would be working as a threesome instead of a twosome. If England, or the individual players, had challenged the decision the right result would have come through in the end. So, I think it's unfortunate that the umpires are exposed, because they are excellent umpires who have made mistakes. Nobody is perfect. The England players, and particularly Collingwood, would have been in there, because he is another who needs runs and he doesn't need decisions like that.

AM: What about Tim Ambrose? He has had a pretty terrible one-day series, only 10 runs in the entire series and four today. Is he starting to look over the shoulder a bit?

DL: Well, that wicketkeeping position is always vulnerable for England. And Tim Ambrose is the latest incumbent. People start talking about [James] Foster, [Matt] Prior, and all the others who have got aspiration to keep wickets for England; [Phil] Mustard is another. He is the man in possession and I think the selectors will stick with him. We've been chatting in our commentary box, and there is a move to get him out of the team. I think that's real hasty, in his last Test match he scored 27 at Trent Bridge and he needs to be given a longer chance in my opinion.

AM: We've now had a full innings to assess South Africa's attack. Obviously, not the fastest pitch that they will encounter, but what do we make of them after all the hype we had in the build-up to this Test match?

DL: There is always hype, and there is always a lot of talk from South Africa whenever they arrive. I just feel they should keep a little bit quiet and just get on with the job and get on with the Test series. It looked pretty one-dimensional to me, although I would be very, very excited about Morne Morkel at 23 years of age - 6 foot 5, 90 miles an hour, great action. He is going to be handful, a real handful. I can see where all the excitement about Steyn is coming from, because he can pitch the ball up and bowl a nifty 90 miles an hour. I would be concerned about [Makhaya] Ntini, really concerned. Shades of Mathew Hoggard to me when England made that ruthless decision - 248 wickets and out of the side. This lad has got 344, but he looked, from my view, a shadow of the bowler that he has been previously. So from South Africa's point of view I will be concerned about him and very, very concerned about the spinner. I don't think there is anything there from Paul Harris that would trouble England on a dusty pitch.

AM: Well, two days gone and England are very much in command of the first Test at Lord's.

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Posted by Music on (July 12, 2008, 9:45 GMT)

I always say that England and their every player except Pietersen are hero at home ground that is England and zero at foreign land.Whether agree or denied I have seen many test matches of England and their results says so.Defeat in Srilanka,Australia,India,Pakistan in the past 2 years says so.Every player seems to be in form in England.Every player seems to score hundred in England but in foreign they are zero.Every one is waiting to see Freddie how much he performs lets see.I seem him much as a bowler not as a Batsman.

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