Australia in England 2012 June 18, 2012

Australia search for their Ian Bell

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For all the huffing and puffing likely to be heard over the next month about Australia's six-deep battery of fast bowlers, the most significant strides the tourists wish to make on their ODI tour of the United Kingdom will be in a modestly-stocked batting department. The captain Michael Clarke and the coach Mickey Arthur acknowledged as much at their arrival pleasantries in Leicester, having brought a team minus Ricky Ponting (dropped) and Michael Hussey (newborn child).

Instead of Ponting and Hussey, the relatively modest talents of Peter Forrest, George Bailey and Steve Smith are jostling to make the kind of impression that could see them return to England for the Ashes in 2013. Others, like the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and the opening batsman David Warner, will encounter their first serious examinations by an England side that pushed Australia to new standards of preparation and planning via their retention of the urn in 2010-11.

As comfortable as the tourists are with their bowling stocks, there is equally a sense of uncertainty about the overall standard of Australian batting, which falls away dramatically among younger and mid-career players after Clarke and his vice-captain Shane Watson. Certainly there is no-one the quality of Ian Bell to come in, as he did for the prematurely retired Kevin Pietersen, should Ponting or Hussey fade between now and the Ashes. So it was understandable to hear Arthur and Clarke call for more from the younger batsmen, amongst a bevy of questions directed towards the promise of young bowlers including James Pattinson and Pat Cummins, in the absence of senior figures.

"It changes the dynamics quite a bit and that is why we are looking for other players to stand up quite a bit and take over that responsibility," Arthur said. "Michael and Ricky are not going to be around for ever so this gives the guys out here to stake their claims and an opportunity to make their mark and show us they belong. I am looking forward to seeing who stands up and takes this opportunity."

Forrest, Bailey and Smith have all shown something in their brief international forays so far, though none have the array of shots or the assured styles that have allowed Ponting and Hussey to endure. Forrest's character is highly regarded by the Australia selectors, and Bailey is widely admired for his leadership of Tasmania. Smith, meanwhile, has hinted at more consistent run-scoring since his not-quite-convincing Ashes appearances in 2010-11. He will also have greater clarity about his role on this tour than in previous matches, in which he at times appeared to be in the team as much for his fielding as his opportunistic batting or fledgling legspin.

"Fortunately for us Ricky's still playing Test cricket and is a big part of our Test team. Fingers crossed I'm hoping next time we'll be here for the Ashes he'll be with us," Clarke said. "He's been such a great player for a long period of time, any team would miss Ricky Ponting, and we're no different.

"But as Mickey said, it's a real good opportunity for some new young guys to grab hold of their chance with both hands. I think they did that throughout the one-day summer, once Ricky was dropped from the team we managed to go on and win that tri-series for Australia, the boys went to West Indies and did a pretty good job in tough conditions, and again it's going to be new for a lot of players to play in English conditions."

The bowlers have a chance to turn English heads also of course, with Pattinson and Cummins in particular keen to learn as much as they can about bowling in these conditions. Mitchell Johnson has returned to Australia's squad after nine months recovering from a major foot injury, while Brett Lee continues to provide an experienced bulwark to the limited-overs attack.

Neither Johnson nor Lee have terribly strong Ashes records on English shores, and the man perhaps best placed to offer wisdom to Pattinson and Cummins is Ben Hilfenhaus, after his 22 Ashes wickets across a succession of reliable spells in 2009. Clarke said awareness of the conditions was a critical element for his young fast men to grasp on this tour, and the Australia A matches that follow it.

"The wickets can be quite slow over here, so it doesn't matter how fast you bowl, if you're not accurate, you're not going to have success, especially in these conditions," Clarke said. "We've got some good talented quicks, it's just now about getting some cricket under their belt, getting a look at these conditions and make sure our preparation is spot on.

"They [England] have got a very good attack and played four fast bowlers the other day, so I'd imagine if wickets are pretty conducive to that that they'll probably do the same, as we might as well. We'll have a look at how conditions are like. We've got six very good fast bowlers in our squad, who are all itching to get an opportunity."

Following three days of training at Grace Road, the Australians will play Leicestershire in a Thursday warm-up match before flying to Belfast for an ODI against Ireland on Saturday. The first match against England is at Lord's on June 29.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • camcove on June 21, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    Hyclass - My comments about the SA bowling were basically the the same as the comments they made about themselves, particularly after Hughes was dropped in England. Sportsmanship is not an issue, positive or negative. I am a huge fan of Steyn, Morkel and Kallis (and now of Philander, for that matter). I simply thought (and they later acknowledged) they got carried away when bowling to Hughes. I haven't seen the YouTube stuff but did watch the innings live on TV. You may well be right about Hughes subsequently being mucked up by the coaches. To suggest that it was deliberate in order to promote Watson needlessly impugns the character of Nielsen and others and is clearly fanciful. On Starc, he is a work in progress. He is only 21 and still bowls too much rubbish in 1st class cricket. His height/trajectory alone makes him a prospect. I agree that Coulter-Nile looks the goods already.

  • hyclass on June 21, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @Meety.I've paid close attention to all the Australians in England. Starc is succeeding in that format because batsmen are not able to sit back and wait for the loose ball.Being forced to attack a left hander always offers opportunities.Vaas is still taking wickets there.Starc has one difficult delivery-the one that swings in to the right hander from the hand. I'd put his pace in the low 140s.His record in 1st class cricket,the one that interests me,says he is mediocre.I rate Coulter-Nile well ahead of him.I'm yet to see anything special in Cummins who I believe got a very lucky break in SA.I think Warner had his average pumped up massively in Zimbabwe.Finch and Ferguson also got big hundreds there to underscore my point.I think Warner has big holes in his game against bounce outside off,spin early on and the ball coming back in.His average is already back to the low 40's,despite being gifted the first 50 in Perth v India with inexplicable captaincy from someone who knows better.

  • hyclass on June 21, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    @camcove...The SA did NOT bowl all over the shop in 09. Its poor sportsmanship to suggest it.Steyn was the worlds best quick & the attack was experienced & playing at home.Watch the Youtube videos 'Hughes v SA 115 & Hughes v SA 160. Their bowling is excellent & extremely hostile. The attack of Morkel,Steyn,Kallis,Ntini & Harris had over1100 Test wickets between them.Its poor to suggest that they bowled poorly to Hughes & to no-one else.He scores on both sides of the wicket,drives on the up & plays all the shots.Only rarely were there half volleys or short wide deliveries & then,it appeared a deliberate ploy. BEFORE Hughes faced a single ball of the Lions game,the one in which Harmison did well,Nielsen had dismantled his entire game.He wanted Watson in.Hughes was left with no back foot trigger movement,no hand speed,a different grip,a changed bat swing & with no game plan.Hughes had 1690 runs in 10 games at 96 on 3 continents with 8x100s to that point.Then he couldn't bat?Plausible?

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @AKS286 - IMO, it is too much for Wade to have to keep wickets & then open in TEST cricket. Not overly excited by Klinger, others are, I'd rather go back to Watto opening than go with Klinger. @hyclass - clarification re: Smith, I wasn't pushing his barrow for test selection, atm, he is just a short form option for Oz. Needs a strong Shield summer to get back into contention, although I do believe he is one player that should tour with the test team, particularly if we had a good spin bowling coach to mentor him. Either that or keep booking him in at the C of E. Just want to stir you re: Starc, have you noted his performances in the Old Dart lately? He did get belted for 70 off 10 in ONE match, but he is ripping thru the wickets in the short forms. I think he is a lot better than "mediocre", (particularly with the White Ball.)

  • camcove on June 21, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Hyclass - I watched those innings of Hughes in SA (albeit on television), and I agree it was a revelation. You may very well be right about the influence of all and sundry trying to "fix" his technique. I would add that in the Ashes tests in England when he was dropped, Flintoff probably bowled as well as any fast bowler could. Having said all of that, I also watched the preliminary game the Aussies played (in Sussex, from memory). Harmison took him apart, with brutal into the body stuff. Flintoff simply followed the same formula in the tests that Hughes played. Steyn and Morkel, moreover, had bowled nothing like that in SA. Morkel in particular has the raw ingredients to bowl that way, but both he and Steyn were all over the shop. As I said before, I hope the kid gets it right, because he could be a real force in tests if he does. I agree with the comments about Watto at 3. In my view, he should be opening (and not bowling much) or batting at 4 or lower.

  • AKS286 on June 21, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    @meety another talent goes in vain. klinger is the another best test opening option. or why not wade? voges comes to middle order with hussey.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    @zenboomerang LOL! "... as my comment on Bell suggested in an Eng article before the 1st ODI where I supported his place to many Eng & Oz supporters jokes..." What a LAUGH! Yet on (June 14 2012, 07:11 AM GMT) under the article FLOWER LOOKS TO WORLD CUP WITH BELL you say "...I can understand the selectors looking at Bell (but not agreeing)..." hmmm, I suppose you will FEEL that you have been misquoted again. It is there in black & white, just look up Bell's profile & the article is there. So you have had a turnaround inside of 7 days - hey? FAIL! Don't worry matey, it is US who are laughing!!!!! (Just to make sure it gets in - LOL!)

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    @AKS286 - thanks for the another chuckle on this article "...relative of Lyon..." well said (wrong, obviously) but well said! Regarding Jaques, he damaged his back (4 yrs ago?) & also had personal issues, when returning to cricket, his batting was way below his best, he did a stint in England where he averaged about 30, which is about half what he used to average over there. He has hardly looked like his old self in the Shield since, has retired, & funnily enuff, seems to be doing very well in County cricket again!

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    @Zenboomerang - EPIC FAIL (again!). on (June 18 2012, 23:45 PM GMT) I said "...I know the article is probably more about taking their chances rather than ODI brilliance..." I also said "...that HEADING is somewhat on the annoying side..." Funny how you use my arguements "...bringing in someone that can perform..." which is almost EXACTLY what I said, but try to have a crack at the same time, must be a miserable upbringing. BTW - half of England's fans have conceeded that Bell is pretty average in ODIs. Nice to see you infalibility complex hasn't changed! LOL! @hyclass - no arguements there, I'd like to see Maxwell closer to National selection. re: Smith - I just had a gut feeling he might be turning things around, Benaud not long ago said (late 2010 early 2011), his wish was for Smith to be involved heavily on the National front.

  • MattyP1979 on June 20, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Ian Bell is a very fine player and getting better, he is probably Eng 5th best batsman and so naturally would walk into the Aus side. Broad would get in on his batting alone lol. Looking forward to this series a little more than paint drying. It will be nice to see some of the worlds most over hyped bowlers (Patterson/Cummins) in action now that THE most over-rated (Narine) bowler has been dispatched by the mighty lions lol. Steve Smith/Kawaaajjjajaj/Hughes/MJ and co back in hehe you got to love cricket.

  • camcove on June 21, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    Hyclass - My comments about the SA bowling were basically the the same as the comments they made about themselves, particularly after Hughes was dropped in England. Sportsmanship is not an issue, positive or negative. I am a huge fan of Steyn, Morkel and Kallis (and now of Philander, for that matter). I simply thought (and they later acknowledged) they got carried away when bowling to Hughes. I haven't seen the YouTube stuff but did watch the innings live on TV. You may well be right about Hughes subsequently being mucked up by the coaches. To suggest that it was deliberate in order to promote Watson needlessly impugns the character of Nielsen and others and is clearly fanciful. On Starc, he is a work in progress. He is only 21 and still bowls too much rubbish in 1st class cricket. His height/trajectory alone makes him a prospect. I agree that Coulter-Nile looks the goods already.

  • hyclass on June 21, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @Meety.I've paid close attention to all the Australians in England. Starc is succeeding in that format because batsmen are not able to sit back and wait for the loose ball.Being forced to attack a left hander always offers opportunities.Vaas is still taking wickets there.Starc has one difficult delivery-the one that swings in to the right hander from the hand. I'd put his pace in the low 140s.His record in 1st class cricket,the one that interests me,says he is mediocre.I rate Coulter-Nile well ahead of him.I'm yet to see anything special in Cummins who I believe got a very lucky break in SA.I think Warner had his average pumped up massively in Zimbabwe.Finch and Ferguson also got big hundreds there to underscore my point.I think Warner has big holes in his game against bounce outside off,spin early on and the ball coming back in.His average is already back to the low 40's,despite being gifted the first 50 in Perth v India with inexplicable captaincy from someone who knows better.

  • hyclass on June 21, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    @camcove...The SA did NOT bowl all over the shop in 09. Its poor sportsmanship to suggest it.Steyn was the worlds best quick & the attack was experienced & playing at home.Watch the Youtube videos 'Hughes v SA 115 & Hughes v SA 160. Their bowling is excellent & extremely hostile. The attack of Morkel,Steyn,Kallis,Ntini & Harris had over1100 Test wickets between them.Its poor to suggest that they bowled poorly to Hughes & to no-one else.He scores on both sides of the wicket,drives on the up & plays all the shots.Only rarely were there half volleys or short wide deliveries & then,it appeared a deliberate ploy. BEFORE Hughes faced a single ball of the Lions game,the one in which Harmison did well,Nielsen had dismantled his entire game.He wanted Watson in.Hughes was left with no back foot trigger movement,no hand speed,a different grip,a changed bat swing & with no game plan.Hughes had 1690 runs in 10 games at 96 on 3 continents with 8x100s to that point.Then he couldn't bat?Plausible?

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @AKS286 - IMO, it is too much for Wade to have to keep wickets & then open in TEST cricket. Not overly excited by Klinger, others are, I'd rather go back to Watto opening than go with Klinger. @hyclass - clarification re: Smith, I wasn't pushing his barrow for test selection, atm, he is just a short form option for Oz. Needs a strong Shield summer to get back into contention, although I do believe he is one player that should tour with the test team, particularly if we had a good spin bowling coach to mentor him. Either that or keep booking him in at the C of E. Just want to stir you re: Starc, have you noted his performances in the Old Dart lately? He did get belted for 70 off 10 in ONE match, but he is ripping thru the wickets in the short forms. I think he is a lot better than "mediocre", (particularly with the White Ball.)

  • camcove on June 21, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Hyclass - I watched those innings of Hughes in SA (albeit on television), and I agree it was a revelation. You may very well be right about the influence of all and sundry trying to "fix" his technique. I would add that in the Ashes tests in England when he was dropped, Flintoff probably bowled as well as any fast bowler could. Having said all of that, I also watched the preliminary game the Aussies played (in Sussex, from memory). Harmison took him apart, with brutal into the body stuff. Flintoff simply followed the same formula in the tests that Hughes played. Steyn and Morkel, moreover, had bowled nothing like that in SA. Morkel in particular has the raw ingredients to bowl that way, but both he and Steyn were all over the shop. As I said before, I hope the kid gets it right, because he could be a real force in tests if he does. I agree with the comments about Watto at 3. In my view, he should be opening (and not bowling much) or batting at 4 or lower.

  • AKS286 on June 21, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    @meety another talent goes in vain. klinger is the another best test opening option. or why not wade? voges comes to middle order with hussey.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    @zenboomerang LOL! "... as my comment on Bell suggested in an Eng article before the 1st ODI where I supported his place to many Eng & Oz supporters jokes..." What a LAUGH! Yet on (June 14 2012, 07:11 AM GMT) under the article FLOWER LOOKS TO WORLD CUP WITH BELL you say "...I can understand the selectors looking at Bell (but not agreeing)..." hmmm, I suppose you will FEEL that you have been misquoted again. It is there in black & white, just look up Bell's profile & the article is there. So you have had a turnaround inside of 7 days - hey? FAIL! Don't worry matey, it is US who are laughing!!!!! (Just to make sure it gets in - LOL!)

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    @AKS286 - thanks for the another chuckle on this article "...relative of Lyon..." well said (wrong, obviously) but well said! Regarding Jaques, he damaged his back (4 yrs ago?) & also had personal issues, when returning to cricket, his batting was way below his best, he did a stint in England where he averaged about 30, which is about half what he used to average over there. He has hardly looked like his old self in the Shield since, has retired, & funnily enuff, seems to be doing very well in County cricket again!

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    @Zenboomerang - EPIC FAIL (again!). on (June 18 2012, 23:45 PM GMT) I said "...I know the article is probably more about taking their chances rather than ODI brilliance..." I also said "...that HEADING is somewhat on the annoying side..." Funny how you use my arguements "...bringing in someone that can perform..." which is almost EXACTLY what I said, but try to have a crack at the same time, must be a miserable upbringing. BTW - half of England's fans have conceeded that Bell is pretty average in ODIs. Nice to see you infalibility complex hasn't changed! LOL! @hyclass - no arguements there, I'd like to see Maxwell closer to National selection. re: Smith - I just had a gut feeling he might be turning things around, Benaud not long ago said (late 2010 early 2011), his wish was for Smith to be involved heavily on the National front.

  • MattyP1979 on June 20, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Ian Bell is a very fine player and getting better, he is probably Eng 5th best batsman and so naturally would walk into the Aus side. Broad would get in on his batting alone lol. Looking forward to this series a little more than paint drying. It will be nice to see some of the worlds most over hyped bowlers (Patterson/Cummins) in action now that THE most over-rated (Narine) bowler has been dispatched by the mighty lions lol. Steve Smith/Kawaaajjjajaj/Hughes/MJ and co back in hehe you got to love cricket.

  • AKS286 on June 20, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    @meety very disappointing news about jaques retirement. why he retired due to injury something? i heard jaques is doing well in english county. i'll not say anything about lyon in front of you because i feel that you are the relative of nathan lyon. no more smith, north , hughes only VOGES. wade must bat on top order because at the early career batting with tailenders & bats as a finisher not good.if he bats in top order his skills will develop more.BEER is steady, accurate, tight line n length, also bowl the new ball, disciplined. he must play in all three format.

  • tasliskr on June 20, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    first of all we r not english........we play and won as team,so we dont need a ian bell.promote d.hussey as opener and use other allrounders in our mid batting ...batting skills like joe burns, ferguson,voges, white,bailey,cooper would make our middle order more effective.......pls consider this suggestion my big aussie fans

  • Wefinishthis on June 20, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    hyclass - I agree totally with everything you said, shame you're not a selector. Fair point about Watson too. When your no.3 averages 37 and the opposition's no.3 is a world-class player who averages 51, the weakness in our batting lineup is glaring. I think Watson might be able to bat at 6, but his average shows that he is not really a good enough batsman to hurt England, which is what we'll need if we're going to amass more than 350+ runs/innings against Anderson and Co in their backyard. Cook and Trott are world class, the rest of their top 5 in Bell, Pietersen and Strauss are good players as well. I'd like to see Kurtis Patterson taken on the ODI tour of England, even if he doesn't get a game. On the positive side, at least Wade and Nevill are finally being looked at and our bowling is looking good with Pattinson, Cummins, Harris and Lyon. Also Hilfenhaus and Siddle look to have improved finally as well so at least there's a chance we'll bowl them out for under 400 this time!

  • hyclass on June 20, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    @elsieb66...I dont agree that Ferguson was a talent. He hit across the ball to leg far too much and lacked the key element of stamina which saw him unable to convert when he did get starts.@Meety...I agree with you on being optimistic about Smith,though he should be a long way from the set up at this point. He was ordinary last 1st class season and his average has dropped from a high of 56 when he demanded selection,to 41. His best season came at the end of the drought when wickets were at their driest and technique was least likely to be tested.He cant be coached in an orthodox fashion. My advice to him would be to spend as much time observing opposition and developing iron clad attacking and defensive plans to different pitches and bowling styles.He has all the ingredients but I think he lacks mental discipline and a decisive game plan.On the whole,Id like him to succeed. I also have some hope for Maxwell of Victoria.Though its early days,there's a hint of Symonds about his game.

  • hyclass on June 20, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    @camcove...put Hughes v SA 115 and Hughes v SA 160 into Youtube and decide for yourself if the player who has totally mastered Steyn and Co,an attack with 1100 test wickets on their home track bowling in the high 140s,all lengths and both sides of the wicket is the same player you watched against a wayward and mediocre Harmison. Virtually everything that happened to Hughes from the moment he joined the squad for the 09 Lions games,had nothing to do with the way he wanted to play and prepare and everything to do with Nielsen and co. who ripped his game to pieces before he faced a ball. To that point,he had 1690 runs at 96 with 8 x 100's in his last 10 games.Nielsen made it clear that Watson was his first choice pre-Ashes to match Englands all-rounder.I rate Hughes a once in a generation player and dont do so lightly.I'd like to see a batting squad of Rogers,Warner,Ponting,Clarke,David Hussey,Mike Hussey,Phil Hughes. Outside that,I like Maxwell & Voges.I'd drop Cowans & Watson.

  • zenboomerang on June 20, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    @jmcilhinney... Yes agree on RandyOZ & Meety (how unusual lol) not understanding the article... It is all about bringing in someone that can perform at a top level - as Bell has shown with a century & 50+ in his two innings, as my comment on Bell suggested in an Eng article before the 1st ODI where I supported his place to many Eng & Oz supporters jokes... Guess I'm allowed to laugh again at their replies... After a 2 week break, not much has changed :) ...

  • elsieb66 on June 20, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    What about Callum Ferguson? Was such a promising talent once. What's happened to him?

  • Meety on June 20, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    @AKS286 - you crack me up, many people have told you that Jaques is RETIRED from Internationals. He is NOT available for the Test team! Also, where has Beer shown he has better credentials than Lyon for Test cricket? I suppose it is your opinion & you're entitled to it, just don't hold your breathe re: Jaques! @RandyOZ - I was not a fan of White, & I used to get really annoyed when people were saying he should be the ODI & Test captain, & Clarke should get dropped, yet White's form was worse & generally has not had anywhere near the impact expected of him over the years. I was unimpressed with his last 2 yrs - batting wise. However, IF White is in form, I think he is one of the best short form batsmen in the world & a very good fieldsmen. He has a ways to go, to get back in the ODI side, but given his IPL form, IMO, he should be considered for the T20 W/Cup.

  • Meety on June 19, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    @camcove - re: Hughes, I know what you mean. I want him to succeed, & I'd rather he be scoring runs in England than not! I think S Smith is knuckling down & adding a bit more grit into his batting, (wish he'd do more bowling), there is fruit starting to bear with him. When it comes to Smith, I am on the optimistic side, & hope he'll be blossom like Benaud did.

  • Carpathian on June 19, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    "The Aussie killer instinct". What does this even mean? I suppose Australia has a mortgage on "spirit" too.

  • AKS286 on June 19, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    adam voges must be a permanent player in ODI and test. odi team- warner, wade, bailey/cosgrove, clarke, voges, watson, hussey/mcdonald, coulter nile, johnson, mckay, beer. test squad= WATSON, klinger/jaques,ponting, clarke, voges, hussey, wade, johnson, pattinson, siddle, beer.

  • RohanMarkJay on June 19, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    In an interview by George Dobell with Richie Benaud a few days ago. Richie Benaud says Australia can recover the ashes. I agree with him. Australia had recovered I think to put a good team on the park they match England player for player now. Since 2009 England has had a good run, it is a team that came as a result of cricket changes in England in year 2000 as they wanted to change things after a bad 1990s for England cricket. England has had hasn't fully covered up the problems of playing cricket in England. That Australia does not have. For example Australia has a better cricket structure. Better financing. Better coverage its covered free to air by channel 9. There is lack of interest for cricket as a whole in England which has been there for decades. While in Australia too there are large sections indifferent to cricket. They generally have more interest for the sport down under unlike in England. Also Australia has far better weather than England.Also the aussie killer instinct.

  • jmcilhinney on June 19, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (June 19 2012, 12:36 PM GMT), I'm shocked that you of all people would miss the point. Oh hang on, no I'm not. The story is saying that Australia would like Hussey's replacement to come in and score a hundred. Are you saying that they don't?

  • Winsome on June 19, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    Only the headline mentioned 'Ian Bell.' It sound to me like Clarkey wants either the old Punter or a new player so much like him that you couldn't split the difference with a razor blade.

  • camcove on June 19, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Thanks, Meety. I had forgotten the ODIs when Gilly and Healy payed together. On Hughes, even the Saffers can't quite work out how they got it so wrong against him in SA. They bowled short and wide of off stump. I don't think he'd find Steyn and Morkel too easy now. Don't get me wrong, I want to see the kid succeed. I think he is a special talent. I don't necessarily place much store on the fact that he is scoring runs now in England - he has done that before and then failed. However, if he gets his game right, he could be a real force in world cricket. I actually think the same about S Smith as a batsman - he's had an awful technique but has immense talent.

  • ravi_hari on June 19, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Any team will face this situation every 5 to 6 years. Australia is going thro it and India will follow soon. England is lucky to have Bell but when Cook, Strauss, Anderson call it quits, they too need to search for replacements. Australia is lucky to have people like Clarke and Watson who can take the big brother role and nurture the new comers. You never know how a player will perform until you give him enough chances. Hughes was highly talented but Watson grabbed the opportunity last time round. So may be Forrest or Bailey will turnout to be a Mark Waugh. They still have Shaun Marsh waiting and a couple of youngsters knocking at the door. Once they get their foot in, the seniors and Arthur will ensure they dont loose out. It is definitely an opportunity to test your bench strength and just in case you need a replacement before the next Ashes, you will have an idea on whom to turn to. The rebuilding will take time but Aussies are ready for it. All the best Clarke and Arthur.

  • RandyOZ on June 19, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    The calls for Cameron White are farcical at best. We would only call him back up if we wanted someone as poor as Strauss in the team.

  • RandyOZ on June 19, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    Why on Earth would we want one of the most overrated batsmen in the World in our team? Not only was he Warne's bunny but he has backed it up with zero overseas knocks and 2 ODI centuries!

  • c3vzn on June 19, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Aus line up for this tour should be (based on the squad): 1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Clarke 4. Forrest/Bailey 5. D Hussey 6. Wade 7. Smith 8. Johnson 9. Lee 10. Doherty/McKay 11. Hilfenhaus

  • popcorn on June 19, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Michel Clarke has shown he is mature,recognizing the worth of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey for The Ashes 2013 - putting so -called experts Dean Jones,Geoff Lawson who called for their heads,to shame. While Peter Forrest and George Bailey are acknowledged batsmen, I cannot fathon where Steve Smith fits in. His batting is not Test Class - no technique,his leg spin is pedestrian. So is he selected for his fielding? Don't make me laugh. EVERY cricketer,batsman or bowler, is expected to field well. He is cerainly not a batting allrounderlike Shane Watson, who bowls seam too. He is certainly not a bowling allrounder like Freddie Flintoff or Kapil Dev or Imran Khan or Richie Benaud.I'd rather see Callum Ferguson for his batting in place of Steve Smith.

  • c3vzn on June 19, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    There's no Australia Ian Bell to come into the team, because he already is in the team, Michael Clarke. The only difference is that he has been a very consistent One Day performer. Australia's KP is undoubtedly Watson but what they need is Forrest to perform consistently and their batting line up is solid.

  • Meety on June 19, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    @camcove - Healy & Gilly did briefly play in the same ODI side, wasnt't often, check Healy's last ODI as some proof. Regarding Hughes, he is scoring runs in England atm, he didn't seem to have much of a problem against Dale Steyn & other Saffas! @Gavin Stevenson - re: Voges - we are talking about ODIs. He has a batting ave over 40 & a S/R over 90 in ODIs, also check out his Int. T20 bowling ave, (fluke but hey).

  • camcove on June 19, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Wefinishthis - Opinions are opinions, which is fine. Watson is a #5 or #6 at best? Maddinson has not lived up to his potential? Gilchrist and Healy played together for Australia? Hughes was dropped for no reason in England? The first comment is, I think, very harsh and not supported by the stats.As for the second, Maddinson is only 20! I don't remember Gilly and Healy together, at least in tests. Hughes was a rabbit in the headlights against Flintoff and others. Until he demonstrates that he has the technique not to be dominated by decent quicks with the new ball, he won't return. It's obvious that we don't at this stage have young bats consistently scoring lots of runs. I still think that the likes of S and M Marsh, Maddinson, Patterson, Lynn, Matthews, Forrest, Bailey S Smith and L Davis could make it. Some of these aren't babies (S Marsh and Bailey as examples). Most are, however, and have class and/or real potential. Let's see what the next Shield season brings.

  • on June 19, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    On the news recently there's always talk about the Ashes. Why? It's just a 5 match test series between old rivals Eng and Aus. Sine 1989, it was always Australia winning then in 05, 09, 10/11 it was all England with the exception of the 5-0 whitewash in 06/07. Next year is back to back ashes series. It could create legends, it could destroy careers. So Australia 5-0 whitewash or England retaining it. Whatever it is, it is just another series and there are other test series in between or before and after that. How England and Australia fair in other series it seems nobody cares as it doesn't get as much attention as the ashes does. So SA, IND, SL, PAK, NZ, WI, BAN and ZIM are all boring and not important? The fact is Australia have won more ashes series than England. England are really not the best team in the world, are they? Everybody proclaims Australia is the best. I'm more interested in how other teams compete against these old foes.

  • Selassie-I on June 19, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    ha ha ha... Forest, Bailey and Smith! who even are these guys?

  • creado on June 19, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Thank you. Thank you very much. I haven't read the story yet, but the headline has made my day. For those of us who started following English cricket at the start of the 90s, those are sweet sweet words.

  • Large_El_Guapo on June 19, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Erm in test context yes, but the Oz ODI side is number 1 in the world currently and personally i'd aim a little higher than Ian ' 3 centuries in a million ODIs'. Ponting doesn't deserve to be in the ODI team he hasn't made runs in ages and unlike other nations Oz are consistent in pensioning older players off and giving the new breed a go which is refreshing. Watching players like Dravid and Ganguly in the ODI teams for around 10 years beyond their expiry purely because of their reputation was a recipe for disaster. Oz to win the series 5-0, England are rubbish at ODI and always have been.

  • Smithy49 on June 19, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Steven Smith should be and he should be captain!

  • Hammond on June 19, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Let's face the facts- the Aussie cupboard is bare. They have no-one of Bell's class even waiting as a young hopeful in Shield cricket. Australia will be bog average in all forms for the foreseeable future.

  • Green_and_Gold on June 19, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Haha - why any of these foreign players that others are suggesting - why not look for another Ricky Ponting (the inform type). Imagine having 2 of them in the same side. Although I would settle for a Steve Waugh for tests - someone to grind out in the middle order (what a player).

  • veerakannadiga on June 19, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    I agree with @jmcilhinney's view. The article should be read in that context.I am of the feeling Shaun Marsh should be given more chances. He should open the innings with David Warner.

  • on June 19, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    The Poms like to forget that Ian Bell was inconsistent and in and out of the team for quite a while now that he's in form and confident with his place in the team. If all the Aussies play to their individual potential they will beat any team in the world. Shaun marsh was brilliant for one innings, I certainly hope he has more talent than his father did, who averaged in the 30's in Test Cricket, not good enough. But he hasn't showed it enough. Adam Voges, come on ! seriously ?

  • Wefinishthis on June 19, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    We have some great old talent in D and M Hussey as well as Rogers and Ponting, but they will all be retired within a few years. Clarke will follow soon after that. Watson is not a top order batsman, he is a no.5 or no.6 at best. Warner is our only talent with future potential. Maddinson, Khawaja, Marsh and Cowan have all failed to live up to their potential. I'd be happy to have Nevill and Wade in there like when we used to have Gilchrist and Healy. The one who still deserves a chance is Phillip Hughes who was dropped for no reason during the ashes and was burnt by the former selection panel's stupidity. We desperately lack a solid first drop like Trott or young Ponting. Perhaps Kurtis Patterson may live up to his potential, however judging by all those others who came before him, I'm not getting my hopes up. Still, my guess for a solid top 7 at this stage would look something like: Warner, Hughes, Patterson, D Hussey, Clarke, Watson, Wade/Nevill. At least that top 5 average over 42.

  • anver777 on June 19, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Giving more chances to Callum Fergerson, he can be a Bell with a range of good strokes.... over to Clarke !!!!

  • ali00 on June 19, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Australian Cricket should push Steve Smith to make big scores and he didnt make a big score.They should not just expect wicket from him also runs as well and look at Angela Mathews and he is star now and he is also allrounder and he is contributing with both bat and bowling,

  • ali00 on June 19, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Australia also have to bring more younger batsman and now the Aussie have young bowlers and Pattinson and Cummings and they will be the long bowler for Australia. The Australian should bring newyounger batsman like Steve Smith ages.

  • AKS286 on June 19, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    Adam voges is the man. who is better than, if he get proper chance in test as well as ODI.

  • s.sreekant on June 19, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    well to start bell is not such a great batsman,if oz need a batsman in at 4 then they should go with ferguson,i see not many mentioning him.He is one of the best odi domestic player in the country or they could even try cooper wh seems to look gud.

  • jmcilhinney on June 19, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    @joseyesu on (June 19 2012, 03:18 AM GMT), as has been pointed out, the reference to Bell has nothing to do with his skill or record or anything other than the fact that he got a place in the team when another player stepped out and he justified that selection with a good innings. The obvious implication is that that is what Australia need, i.e. someone to step in and perform with Hussey now stepping out. Whether or not Bell or Cook or Trott have performed in the past is not really the point. That said, Bell has only played one innings since returning to the ODI team and there's no guarantee that he'll do any better beyond that than he has in the past. Presumably Australia want immediate impact with continued performance, so maybe Cook would be a better comparison. Since his reselection as ODI captain he has an excellent record, particularly for someone considered a plodder prior to that and probably still in the Test arena.

  • jayrockkss on June 19, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Aussies have their own Ian Bell in prisons...get him out...

  • CricIndia208 on June 19, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    "Australia search for thei Ian Bell" - seriously is that all you guys aim for. I would say, aim higher. How about - Australia search for their Virat Kohli - there, that sounds better!

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 19, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    please dont waste shaun marsh. He is a once-in-a-lifetime talent.

  • balajik1968 on June 19, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    The point of this article is that not too many young players have stepped up with the bat over the last decade, with the exception of Clarke and to some extent Watson. Hussey and Katich were not exactly young when they made their debuts. Over the next few years the Aussies face a lot of worries in batting. Ponting and Hussey are nearing the end. Clarke's back will not last. Which leaves Watson. He is good but nobody sees him as leading the batting. Marsh, Hughes, Khwaja and others are not really proving themselves. Warner looks good, but has to become really consistent. Even if he does, he needs support, and the other players are not stepping up. What they need is someone like Ponting, who can take charge and a Hussey, who can play with the lower order. Plus a couple of scrappers until the next great batsman surfaces.

  • joseyesu on June 19, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    Why Ian Bell, and why not Trott/Cook...?

  • Deep_Point on June 19, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    Great article, had me laughing even before I clicked the link. I can vividly recall when Bell was "too weak" for test cricket according to that tiny little Ponting fella...serious LOLS and this article is from an Aussie journalist! Get Shaun Marsh back in there - he's brilliant

  • Mary_786 on June 19, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    Khawaja wil hopefully get a good start to the shield season and will be a key batsman for the Aussies going forward.

  • on June 19, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    I would like to see Cameron White back in the ODI and T20 sides. He had a good IPL and seems to have got his confidence back. There are few players who hit the ball as hard as he does when he is at his best.

  • BlueyCollar on June 19, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    Is "Mr Ed" Cowan in the squad. His last couple of years in the Australian domestic odi comp has been outstanding which may surprise some considering his beligirent test batting. Can you add a spell check function to this comments box. Spelling is not my strong point.

  • me54321 on June 19, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    I think the point is that Australia are looking for a player to come in and and take his chance in this series in the absence of Hussey, as Bell did in the absence of Pietersen. That is why Bell is being mentioned, not because anyone's saying he is now a fantastic ODI player after one innings. But I guess people would rather whine about England at every chance they get rather than read and interpret a story properly.

  • on June 19, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    Thankfully the Captain and Coach realized what the selectors missed. Batting strength is a big worry for the Aussies right now. Ferguson and Voges definitely deserve their share of chances and so do Cooper. Forrest is not fit for ODIs and going by his recent form White is a good enough bet.

  • jmcilhinney on June 19, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Any team would love for a batsman to come into the team and play the way Ian Bell did. That said, England need him to keep playing that way. If he gets two ducks in the remaining games of the WI series then noone is going to be saying that they want an Ian Bell then.

  • Aubm on June 18, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    Wow, I didn't think us Aussies were so desparate that our batsman were aspiring to bethe next Ian Bell!!! Personally I would aim a bit higher.

  • Meety on June 18, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Geez - that heading is somewhat on the annoying side (putting it mildly), man we are setting the bar low (in ODI terms), here! I know the article is probably more about taking their chances rather than ODI brilliance, but it's a bit raw. Technically (talking ODIs, we have 4 batsmen with BETTER stats than Bell) not on tour in Ferguson, Voges & White & Marsh. This article would be more relevant in a Test setting. @TomJohnson360 - yep Hughes is off to a great start to his County stint. Big temptation to select him, but I'd like to wait until he comes back & plays Shield again this summer.

  • on June 18, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    Do the Aussies have their own KP, I mean not a person who has turned their back on the ODI team but one who can play like him. Maybe it is Warner! He would love the dish out sixes against the England bowlers. A bit like what Gilchrist use to do. Use half a swash ball in the glove to prevent the bat handle from turning. It would be interesting to see how Pattinson and Cummins play in England conditions. Over time players can also lose form, they're just human.

  • loudmouth on June 18, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Can someone tell me why Ponting didn't come for this series? I know he's been dropped but seriously - SA wouldn't dream of dropping Kallis and India wouldn't dare drop Tendulkar. Ponting's the 2nd most successful ODI batsman of all time! And he's dropped!!! And Clarke and Arthur are 'calling' on Steve Smith and pals to 'sep up'? Seriously??? It just doesn't make sense to me. Ponting could use the games on this tour to prepare for the 2013 Ashes which he obviously wants to be a part of and there's no Hussy so surely bring the extra senior player!

  • yorkshirematt on June 18, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    I can think of a few aussies who regularly post on here who wouldn't want an "aussie Ian bell" judging by their comments about him!

  • TomJohnson360 on June 18, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Phil hughes started off really well in england across all formats and is a huge prospect, must not be forgotten but being an england fan a still think we hold the edge for the ashes

  • Ozcricketwriter on June 18, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Dan Christian and Mitchell Marsh are the answers to all of Australia's batting woes. They could also do a lot worse than giving Steve Smith and Cameron White another chance, as both are back in rip roaring form. And let's not forget David Hussey, who is well and truly overdue to play test cricket.

  • Nadeem1976 on June 18, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    First of all Aussies team is new and they need experience but we cannot say every time that Ian Bell has filled KP void by playing 1 innings. We all know who bad Ian bell plays when he goes out of forum. Ian bell is playing for years now. He is well settled england batsman who was out due to bad form and not talent and experience.

    Media just hype one player and then make him king in one day. Just wait for whole summer to see if Ian bell has filled his and KP void in english team.

  • Lozzanova on June 18, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Australia have a modestly-stocked batting department? What about the England test team?? The present incumbents are doing very well, but the bench is looking very bare and has done for some time. That's one of the reasons Bell had such a long time to come good - there really was no one to take his place.

    A couple of injuries would see some rather serious holes open up in the England test top six.

  • 5wombats on June 18, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    Quite right. Every team needs a batsman of the quality of Ian Bell. Clarke is showing his class when he admits it. Bravo Michael Clarke!

  • johnathonjosephs on June 18, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Watson or Forrest might not be a bad idea? At the moment, I feel like either Michael Clarke or Michael Hussey can be Ian Bell

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 18, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    "Australia Search for their Ian Bell". How times have changed. Bell goes and scores another fluent, flawless century and certain sections of the Aussie fan- base are questioning just how, after years in the wilderness and a severe Ashes thrashing in their own backyard, just quite where it all went wrong for them...:)

  • Partyman on June 18, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous! Ian Bell has played one good innings against an inept bowling attack (I am not talking about his test match credentials here, which is impeccable) and all of sudden he is the benchmark ! He has a long way to go before being considered as one in LOI. But for his and the sake of England I hope he transfers his test match prowess into one day arena as well. Good luck Bellmeister.

  • Kak-mal_Khan on June 18, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Firstly R.I.P Tom Maynard, very tragic story for a cricketer with promise. I want to add to the many comments of why this story is so senseless. Australia have cricketers of the calibre of Ponting, Hussey, Clarke and before that many more illustrious players that would wipe the floor clean with England. England have been lucky to have had a South African batsmen of a non-english unorthodox talented nature, and Ian Bell is definately going to struggle to fill those boots. Ian Bell is like Neil Fairbrother a couple of decades ago, nothing spectacular but will guts it out, i'm sure Australia will unearth a new gem during the ODI series!

  • whatawicket on June 18, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    will u guys get real Daniel Brettig is an australian writer why he would want that as a headline flummoxes me. so its not an english columnist saying this. leave bell to get on with his good work. what is more infuriating is why in this instance we have to have dravid and tendulkar brought into a topic its an Australian writer talking about aus v eng

  • Yevghenny on June 18, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Cummins_pattinson, this england team have never been 21-9. Whatever you make of their record, it is going to be a one sided ashes next summer as the australian top order is second class

  • on June 18, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    dear Daniel Brettig punter is not dropped he is taken leave from the odi

  • dariuscorny on June 18, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    the article starts with a funny line,i havent read so much funny in recent times.Ian Bell as "Great Batsman"perhaps the biggest comedy to have happened.Ian Bell cannot guard himself for one single spinning ball and this comedy comes up.im not impressed......England are chasing greatnes with this "GREAT BATSMAN".the chase would never end infact they are way way way way behind,let alone limited overs cricket.....

  • maddinson on June 18, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    English team is such a over rated team, only behind Indian Cricket team. Few months ago they lost 4 test matches in a row against two very inconsistent test teams. A series win against a very ordinary WI team and their media forgotten everything. Now they are treating Ian Bell as Lord Bell, just after he score a century in a last ODI.

  • on June 18, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    best of luck aussies in cming tour at uk!!

  • alchemist_sandeep on June 18, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    george bailey steve smith peter forest shaun marsh can gud choice

  • SagirParkar on June 18, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    "Australia search for their own Ian Bell"... are you guys really serious about that headline ??? Ian Bell scores one hundred as an opener and suddenly he becomes a better attacking opening ODI bat than anyone England has produced ? so much so that HE is the benchmark for openers in ODIs ??? Australia can, and will, do better than that.. and will cream England in the upcoming ODI series..

  • EnglishCricket on June 18, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Such a pointless series. This is just the beginning of the end of this ENG-AUS exciting and special rivalry mark my words. A Triangular Series between England, Scotland and Ireland would've been much exciting and interesting compared to another ENG-AUS ODI Series.

  • on June 18, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    ian bell u cant find. Cause Shaun Marsh is not here u got miserable forrest, Aussie need Marshy.

  • Min2_cric on June 18, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    y r u treating bell lyk dravid or sachin...seems lyk pakistan r looking fr a dravid in their test side...lol...bell has played just one inning gud dat too against nt at all consistent carribeans...he hasnt raised d bar much high...maybe warner or forrest could get over em quite easilyy....

  • on June 18, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    You cant have Ian bell, how abt Usman Khawaja ?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on June 18, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    You cant have Ian bell, how abt Usman Khawaja ?

  • Min2_cric on June 18, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    y r u treating bell lyk dravid or sachin...seems lyk pakistan r looking fr a dravid in their test side...lol...bell has played just one inning gud dat too against nt at all consistent carribeans...he hasnt raised d bar much high...maybe warner or forrest could get over em quite easilyy....

  • on June 18, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    ian bell u cant find. Cause Shaun Marsh is not here u got miserable forrest, Aussie need Marshy.

  • EnglishCricket on June 18, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Such a pointless series. This is just the beginning of the end of this ENG-AUS exciting and special rivalry mark my words. A Triangular Series between England, Scotland and Ireland would've been much exciting and interesting compared to another ENG-AUS ODI Series.

  • SagirParkar on June 18, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    "Australia search for their own Ian Bell"... are you guys really serious about that headline ??? Ian Bell scores one hundred as an opener and suddenly he becomes a better attacking opening ODI bat than anyone England has produced ? so much so that HE is the benchmark for openers in ODIs ??? Australia can, and will, do better than that.. and will cream England in the upcoming ODI series..

  • alchemist_sandeep on June 18, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    george bailey steve smith peter forest shaun marsh can gud choice

  • on June 18, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    best of luck aussies in cming tour at uk!!

  • maddinson on June 18, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    English team is such a over rated team, only behind Indian Cricket team. Few months ago they lost 4 test matches in a row against two very inconsistent test teams. A series win against a very ordinary WI team and their media forgotten everything. Now they are treating Ian Bell as Lord Bell, just after he score a century in a last ODI.

  • dariuscorny on June 18, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    the article starts with a funny line,i havent read so much funny in recent times.Ian Bell as "Great Batsman"perhaps the biggest comedy to have happened.Ian Bell cannot guard himself for one single spinning ball and this comedy comes up.im not impressed......England are chasing greatnes with this "GREAT BATSMAN".the chase would never end infact they are way way way way behind,let alone limited overs cricket.....

  • on June 18, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    dear Daniel Brettig punter is not dropped he is taken leave from the odi