West Indies in England 2012 May 5, 2012

Bell replaces Stokes in Lions squad

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Durham allrounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of next week's England Lions match against West Indies with a back injury. Warwickshire's Ian Bell has replaced Stokes in the squad for the four-day fixture which begins in Northampton on Thursday.

While Bell made a century in the Championship match against Durham this week, he was keen for more time in the middle following a lean spell of form. Prior to that century, Bell had passed 20 only four times in his last 20 first-class innings and admitted that he had felt out of sorts at the crease. Warwickshire do not have a Championship game next week, so Bell had intended to content himself with facing Warwickshire's bowlers in a net on the square at Edgbaston.

"I just haven't have enough time at the crease," Bell said following his century. "I'm netted out, to be honest. I've had enough time in the net. It's scoring runs that helps your confidence and your form. I feel I've just been scratching around. It started in the UAE, but even here, in the last two games, I just didn't feel the rhythm was there. Even the 50 I made in Sri Lanka, on a really good batting wicket, felt like hard work."

The news is a further setback to Stokes. Although he made his international debuts in T20 and ODI cricket towards the end of last season, he was hampered by a finger injury that forced him out of contention for the winter tours. The back injury is not thought to require surgery and is thought to be a recurrence of a stress reaction that bothered him as a teenager. He will receive anti-inflammatory injections in his back this week but will not be available for Durham's match against Somerset.

Geoff Miller, England's national selector, said: "It is unfortunate that Ben's injury has ruled him out of the match against West Indies. Ian Bell was keen to play another game ahead of the Test series and after performing well for Warwickshire this week this match provides an ideal opportunity for him to continue his preparations as well as helping to ensure England Lions prove challenging opposition for West Indies."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    @JG2704 - just one more thing re" Lions v Bang A. The Bang A side was a pretty good one, & I wouldn't be surprised if half that side make International debuts in the next year or so. I think the Eng Lions did beter in SL, as the pitches were of a better quality than the ones in Bangladesh which are pretty dead. In Bangladesh, life as a fast bowler is a pretty thankless occupation.

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    @jg2704 - the comment about the Lions was more of a retort, it actually doesn't represent my complete views on Englands generation Next, (actually think they're a good crop). I was very interested in the Quadrangular ODI fixtures held in QLD a mth or so ago, & England were quite good (albeit these players were younger than the Lions quoted in this thread). My comments were based basically on the premise that who's bench strength is "better" is really just conjecture. I am absolutely positive for example Oz pace bowling is very strong, however a comment on another thread by an English supporter was interesting as he compared the "top 10" bowlers from Eng v Oz & concluded there wasn't much difference. There was a few minor parts of his methodology that I disputed, but it was a an attempt at being objective. BTW - agree 100% on your comments @SirViv73, Ponting's last 12 mths has no direct correlation to batting depth, rather a product of policy.

  • JG2704 on May 8, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    @Meety on (May 08 2012, 00:20 AM GMT) I know this wasn't directed at me but Eng lions did better vs SL lions than they did vs Bang A. Whether this was because they improved or because Bang A are better than their SL counterparts I don't know? We all know that alot can change in the time before the next Ashes series both with English and Aus batting and that a batsman who hasn't been on the fringe can come in from nowhere and do a job,

  • JG2704 on May 8, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @SirViv1973 on (May 07 2012, 19:28 PM GMT) - Just playing devil's advocate here . You mention about the lack of depth to Aus batting and that Ponting wasn't dropped. Maybe Aus have a similar policy to England re giving their batsmen (too much?) time. Eng weren't exactly ruthless (and I feel they should have been more ruthless) with their underperforming batsmen. SM - who I presume is Shaun Marsh - was dropped after the India series and in any case Aus were still thrashing Ind without him. In fact Ponting (who should have been dropped after NZ) was awesome vs India. I'm not saying Oz or Eng has/or has no batting depth. But Eng have done the same with struggling batsmen in the very recent past and if anything it could seem that Eng have even less confidence in their batting depth because at least Australia were still winning while perserveering with their underperforming batsmen.

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @JG2704 - I would prefer to have the batting line up settled by now (barely 12mths to the next Ashes), however, we have plenty of time to make adjustments now. My MAIN concern right now is that between the home summer & the next Ashes we play India in India. The problem I see, is that it will be poor preparation for the Ashes. On the positive - it should be hard fought cricket, on the negative - the pitches & bowling attack will bear almost no semblance to England conditions & bowling. I would hope we select a side for India that will be horses for courses & not a trial for the Ashes. It annoyed me greatly that Oz surrendered home advantage for the last Ashes by playing a 2-test series in India prior to the 2010/11 Ashes. I actually like to see Oz sacrifice the Champ Trophy by selecting a Test team (batsmen), for the ODI tournament. So in summary, when it comes to Oz cricket, I am optimistic, but the Oz line up is NOT crystal clear yet, & won't be until after the SL series IMO!

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    @JG2704 (cont) - as far as Watto, I think he can do well, he did Okay last time & hopefully he can get his mental application right. I see him (& Cowan) as buffers (not buffet!), to the middle order. regarding Ponting - I am torn, I think he is a champion, but aging & am not sure he is the best man to determine whether he is still valuable to the team. Atm - I am backing him all the way to the Ashes - but the Saffas at home will be the acid test. Clarke, I feel will deliver the goods, & then there is Huss. He is in decline & like Punter will be tested by the Saffas & that to me will determine whether he gets an Ashes ticket. Superficially (assuming Cowan, Punter & Huss fail the Saffa test), we can improve the batting line a number of ways. I feel Rogers & D Hussey are almost ready made test players & should perform, my confidence in D Hussey has improved as his ODI performances have settled at a higher level over the last 12mths. (TBC)

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @JG2704 - my position re: the Ozzy batting line up is a bit like a farmer looking at his orchard. Currently we have some good apples being sent off to market (test cricket) - some have been rejected by the market (batsmen who haven't delivered), some of my apples aren't selling as well as I like atm (Hussey & Ponting), but I have plenty of trees just starting to bear fruit (up & coming batsmen), they're just too ripe. I have more confidence in the selection process to manage who to pick & when, then the last time the Ashes rolled around. My specific take is this - 1. Cowan SHOULD deliver better returns in England than in the WIndies, its more like Hobart where he has done well against good attacks & he is still improving. Warner is a very dangerous prospect, he surprised a lot of people with his innings in Hobart, he scored a couple of ODI tons as well, he is maturing at a fairly rapid rate, I expect him to do well in England. (TBC)

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    @landl47 - most of the young England players you mentioned got rolled by Bangladesh A. So it is all relative, you mention overweight Cosgrove, what about Patel???? You conveniently forgot to mention that Nevill actually has a FC ave of 45 over 21 games - which is more than a handful, you say he is just wicket keeping reserve, yet you name Bairstow who's FC ave is fairly similar AND is a wicket keeper! BTW - I didn't mention, AB Mac, Rogers, D Hussey or Smith, Khawaja & Hughes or Maxwell who all have the ability to contribute over the next 2 yrs. IMO - given that Oz bowling stocks are well placed, & the Oz pitch conditions have also generally favoured bowling, any of the batsmen mentioned will not find the step up to test cricket as daunting as it may seem. "This is the barest Aus cupboard I ever remember..." & yet we're #3 with a bullet!!!!!!

  • JG2704 on May 7, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    @Meety - Just wondering how you stand re the Aus batting. Do you look on the negative side in that the top order are underperforming or the positive in that the lower order/tail are doing the business? After our bad tours of UAE and SL the last thing I'm going to do is criticise any other batting line up. The only Aus player you listed I've seen is Cosgrove who seemed ok but very overweight. As for Bell - still maintain he should have been dropped due to being the worst of a badly performing batting line up who lost test after test.However if Bell is performing I'm happy for him to be there. Besides the horse has bolted now. I do however hope that if the same happens again as that what happened UAE , Strauss/Flower are braver with their selections. I doubt that will happen so I just have to hope that Bell continues his decent form.

  • SirViv1973 on May 7, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    There clearly is no depth in Aus batting, if there was RP would have been dropped after the NZL series or possibly sooner! Big things were expected of UK & he has been a massive dissapointment in tests & domestically since he returned to the shield . The same can be said of SM after he filled his boots against SrL and then managed 17 in 5 inns against the limp ind attack. If you look at what happened in the recent Shield competition there were no young batsmen putting their hands up. EC has got in to the side on the back of half dozen knocks in last years shield 12 mths ago no1 would have considered him an option & to be honest an aver under 30 in 12 test inns against pretty moderate attacks doesn't bode well. Warner has shown promise but the jury is still out as he hasn't faced any of the worlds better bowlers yet, SW is decent but remains injury prone & unable to make 100s! & with RP & MH comin to an end the only confirmed class act who is likley to be around a while is MC

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    @JG2704 - just one more thing re" Lions v Bang A. The Bang A side was a pretty good one, & I wouldn't be surprised if half that side make International debuts in the next year or so. I think the Eng Lions did beter in SL, as the pitches were of a better quality than the ones in Bangladesh which are pretty dead. In Bangladesh, life as a fast bowler is a pretty thankless occupation.

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    @jg2704 - the comment about the Lions was more of a retort, it actually doesn't represent my complete views on Englands generation Next, (actually think they're a good crop). I was very interested in the Quadrangular ODI fixtures held in QLD a mth or so ago, & England were quite good (albeit these players were younger than the Lions quoted in this thread). My comments were based basically on the premise that who's bench strength is "better" is really just conjecture. I am absolutely positive for example Oz pace bowling is very strong, however a comment on another thread by an English supporter was interesting as he compared the "top 10" bowlers from Eng v Oz & concluded there wasn't much difference. There was a few minor parts of his methodology that I disputed, but it was a an attempt at being objective. BTW - agree 100% on your comments @SirViv73, Ponting's last 12 mths has no direct correlation to batting depth, rather a product of policy.

  • JG2704 on May 8, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    @Meety on (May 08 2012, 00:20 AM GMT) I know this wasn't directed at me but Eng lions did better vs SL lions than they did vs Bang A. Whether this was because they improved or because Bang A are better than their SL counterparts I don't know? We all know that alot can change in the time before the next Ashes series both with English and Aus batting and that a batsman who hasn't been on the fringe can come in from nowhere and do a job,

  • JG2704 on May 8, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @SirViv1973 on (May 07 2012, 19:28 PM GMT) - Just playing devil's advocate here . You mention about the lack of depth to Aus batting and that Ponting wasn't dropped. Maybe Aus have a similar policy to England re giving their batsmen (too much?) time. Eng weren't exactly ruthless (and I feel they should have been more ruthless) with their underperforming batsmen. SM - who I presume is Shaun Marsh - was dropped after the India series and in any case Aus were still thrashing Ind without him. In fact Ponting (who should have been dropped after NZ) was awesome vs India. I'm not saying Oz or Eng has/or has no batting depth. But Eng have done the same with struggling batsmen in the very recent past and if anything it could seem that Eng have even less confidence in their batting depth because at least Australia were still winning while perserveering with their underperforming batsmen.

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @JG2704 - I would prefer to have the batting line up settled by now (barely 12mths to the next Ashes), however, we have plenty of time to make adjustments now. My MAIN concern right now is that between the home summer & the next Ashes we play India in India. The problem I see, is that it will be poor preparation for the Ashes. On the positive - it should be hard fought cricket, on the negative - the pitches & bowling attack will bear almost no semblance to England conditions & bowling. I would hope we select a side for India that will be horses for courses & not a trial for the Ashes. It annoyed me greatly that Oz surrendered home advantage for the last Ashes by playing a 2-test series in India prior to the 2010/11 Ashes. I actually like to see Oz sacrifice the Champ Trophy by selecting a Test team (batsmen), for the ODI tournament. So in summary, when it comes to Oz cricket, I am optimistic, but the Oz line up is NOT crystal clear yet, & won't be until after the SL series IMO!

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    @JG2704 (cont) - as far as Watto, I think he can do well, he did Okay last time & hopefully he can get his mental application right. I see him (& Cowan) as buffers (not buffet!), to the middle order. regarding Ponting - I am torn, I think he is a champion, but aging & am not sure he is the best man to determine whether he is still valuable to the team. Atm - I am backing him all the way to the Ashes - but the Saffas at home will be the acid test. Clarke, I feel will deliver the goods, & then there is Huss. He is in decline & like Punter will be tested by the Saffas & that to me will determine whether he gets an Ashes ticket. Superficially (assuming Cowan, Punter & Huss fail the Saffa test), we can improve the batting line a number of ways. I feel Rogers & D Hussey are almost ready made test players & should perform, my confidence in D Hussey has improved as his ODI performances have settled at a higher level over the last 12mths. (TBC)

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @JG2704 - my position re: the Ozzy batting line up is a bit like a farmer looking at his orchard. Currently we have some good apples being sent off to market (test cricket) - some have been rejected by the market (batsmen who haven't delivered), some of my apples aren't selling as well as I like atm (Hussey & Ponting), but I have plenty of trees just starting to bear fruit (up & coming batsmen), they're just too ripe. I have more confidence in the selection process to manage who to pick & when, then the last time the Ashes rolled around. My specific take is this - 1. Cowan SHOULD deliver better returns in England than in the WIndies, its more like Hobart where he has done well against good attacks & he is still improving. Warner is a very dangerous prospect, he surprised a lot of people with his innings in Hobart, he scored a couple of ODI tons as well, he is maturing at a fairly rapid rate, I expect him to do well in England. (TBC)

  • Meety on May 8, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    @landl47 - most of the young England players you mentioned got rolled by Bangladesh A. So it is all relative, you mention overweight Cosgrove, what about Patel???? You conveniently forgot to mention that Nevill actually has a FC ave of 45 over 21 games - which is more than a handful, you say he is just wicket keeping reserve, yet you name Bairstow who's FC ave is fairly similar AND is a wicket keeper! BTW - I didn't mention, AB Mac, Rogers, D Hussey or Smith, Khawaja & Hughes or Maxwell who all have the ability to contribute over the next 2 yrs. IMO - given that Oz bowling stocks are well placed, & the Oz pitch conditions have also generally favoured bowling, any of the batsmen mentioned will not find the step up to test cricket as daunting as it may seem. "This is the barest Aus cupboard I ever remember..." & yet we're #3 with a bullet!!!!!!

  • JG2704 on May 7, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    @Meety - Just wondering how you stand re the Aus batting. Do you look on the negative side in that the top order are underperforming or the positive in that the lower order/tail are doing the business? After our bad tours of UAE and SL the last thing I'm going to do is criticise any other batting line up. The only Aus player you listed I've seen is Cosgrove who seemed ok but very overweight. As for Bell - still maintain he should have been dropped due to being the worst of a badly performing batting line up who lost test after test.However if Bell is performing I'm happy for him to be there. Besides the horse has bolted now. I do however hope that if the same happens again as that what happened UAE , Strauss/Flower are braver with their selections. I doubt that will happen so I just have to hope that Bell continues his decent form.

  • SirViv1973 on May 7, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    There clearly is no depth in Aus batting, if there was RP would have been dropped after the NZL series or possibly sooner! Big things were expected of UK & he has been a massive dissapointment in tests & domestically since he returned to the shield . The same can be said of SM after he filled his boots against SrL and then managed 17 in 5 inns against the limp ind attack. If you look at what happened in the recent Shield competition there were no young batsmen putting their hands up. EC has got in to the side on the back of half dozen knocks in last years shield 12 mths ago no1 would have considered him an option & to be honest an aver under 30 in 12 test inns against pretty moderate attacks doesn't bode well. Warner has shown promise but the jury is still out as he hasn't faced any of the worlds better bowlers yet, SW is decent but remains injury prone & unable to make 100s! & with RP & MH comin to an end the only confirmed class act who is likley to be around a while is MC

  • on May 7, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    A sensible decision by the ECB to give Bell some practice in FC cricket before no1 Test side and 20/20 world cup holders England play the West Indies, can't see England struggling like Australia did.

  • RandyOZ on May 7, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    Surely the alarm bells are ringing for the United XI now (no pun intended) With only weak backup as Bell to cover injuries, it might be time for another poaching safari.

  • jmcilhinney on May 7, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    @dunger.bob, according to the ICC predictor, England can win 3-0 or 2-0 and improve their position or win 2-1 or 1-0 and stay the same. Any other result will see them slip below SA. For those who like to say that England will be hoping for rain need to think again because rain could cost them the #1 spot. Some may think that that's fair given that rain may well have disadvantaged SA in NZ. Having said all that, that same predictor indicates that England and WI will have played four more games after this three-game series, so I'm not sure I trust it 100%.

  • RandyOZ on May 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    You know you are in deep trouble when your replacement is Ian Bell, one of the most overated cricketers and worst players of spin in the world.

  • dunger.bob on May 7, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    I think the Windies would love to have a decent look at Ian Bell before the main event. If he is having some wobbles despite his county ton, a couple of early nicks through to the keeper against the calypso's wont do him too much good confidence wise. .. of course the reverse is also true. If he bats long enough his form could suddenly switch back on and it's advantage Bell. I guess that's why its such an interesting decision . while a blind monkey can see that England deserve to be the bankable favourites they are, I think the West Indies are capable of making you sit up and take notice. Their bowling can hurt. The fielding has improved. . realistically though their batting doesn't stand a chance against your bowling so all you really have to do is make sure your batting dominates. Easy, right. Should be a piece of cake. Don't stuff it up though, because the rankings also expect you to win handsomely. Even losing a single Test is going to hurt your ranking a bit. .No pressure there.

  • landl47 on May 7, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    @Meety: if the names you put forward are the best Australia can do in the way of depth, then Aus has a real problem. Cosgrove is 27 and has been around for years: he's a talented batsman but undisciplined, overweight and looked on as a bit of a wild man. Burns and Lynn are young players (both 22) with some promise, but nowhere near ready yet. England has lots of those (Taylor, Stokes, Bairstow, Buttler, etc.); they're prospects at this stage. Nevill (I presume Neville was a misspelling) is a wicketkeeper/batsman who is 26, looks useful but has only played a handful of first-class games. Since Wade, the present incumbent, is only 24, I assume Nevill is depth at the W/K position, which doesn't help much. At the moment Clarke is doing a wonderful job, but the last 3 series, against NZ, India and WI, haven't been against the top attacks in the world. This is the barest Aus cupboard I ever remember, barring the World Series Cricket years, and next year's Ashes will be a real struggle.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 7, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    @jackiethepen, as far as im aware Warkishire dont have any more CC games this side of the first test as thier next match is the 16th May against lancs. You also misunderstand what the Lions is about, its has 2 main purposes, the first is to give the selectors a look at the up and coming talent against visting test teams, the second is to allow existing players, if necessary, to get time in the middle......Why would Warks loam Durham Bell anyway, its not Warks fault Stokes has a back injury.

  • Trickstar on May 6, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Makes complete sense, Bell had already asked the ECB for one extra game of County Cricket and was also getting plenty of extra net sessions because he felt he was so out of nick. Not sure where Jackie is coming from tbh, no better preparation for Bell than to face the attack he will be facing in a couple of weeks, it will do him no end of good, let alone the confidence it will give him if he score plenty against them. Everyone knows Bell is a huge confidence player and when he's full it it he's world class and rubbish when not. The Lions is all about England, whether it's used for players to find form, or for young lads for the future, or guys in their prime looking to get a look in the test side, it's got lots of purposes, all for the good of the England side. Last year Morgan played against SL because he'd been at the IPL and got a big ton that cemented his place in front of Bopara.

  • jmcilhinney on May 6, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    @jackiethepen, Strauss played a game for another county in a tour match against India, not in a CC match. Any batsman who really has a shot at making the England team is already in the Lions team. Anyone else who might have come in would have to play many more Lions games in the future, which they still can. The Lions is not really for the players but is for England, to help them get the best players in the England team. If it's best for England in this specific scenario to have Bell play for the Lions then I'm all for it. I doubt that WI will mind because the better the opposition the better the workout for them before the Test matches.

  • 5wombats on May 6, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Guys, we don't think Bell's place is necessarily under threat but; of the players there he is probably the one who most needs to "take care of himself". As we said earlier a bit of competition for places is involved in the England set up and Bell must be aware of that (and his indifferent form) otherwise he wouldn't be looking for extra match practice. @jmcilhinney re; Australian batting. We've just come back from an extended period in and around Aus and regular Aus followers are certainly not as gungho as the comments you see from the usual suspects here. General consensus is that Ponting will have to be removed with demolition explosives. They ARE worried about the form/class of the batsmen in and around the current team. All things considered - an in form Ian Bell would walk into any team in the world, including, and especially - Australia. It says a lot about the current standards and expectations that he (and we) think there may be a question mark over him.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 6, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @meety, I think its just a way of getting bell more time in the middle ahead of the main tests. Also I agree to a point about the depth in australia, though it speaks volumes that there is not seen to be a credible alternative to Punter and Hussey in those ranks, in the past the Aussie slectors have been very ruthless especially if i a player under-performed a prolonged period, which punter did. PS also agree theres a lot of wums on all sides.

  • JG2704 on May 6, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (May 05 2012, 23:29 PM GMT) Agree re Bell's inns. Although only in the county championship he did so under circumstances where his team were failing. I guess Bell wants to try and continue with the momentum and maybe the England selectors actually want to assess his form further to. Maybe Bell is NOT the certainty that we presume for the WI series so that's why he is playing for the Lions.

  • JG2704 on May 6, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    @ Trickstar on (May 05 2012, 21:54 PM GMT) LOL you're right. Bell was ironicalloy the name I forgot about

  • Meety on May 6, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    Not sure as to why they'd put Bell in , surely they've seen enough of him? @jmcilhinney "... That's the great Australian depth that he keeps telling us about..." - perhaps you should look up Cosgrove, Neville, & Lynn & Burns. Randy & Jonesy are serial pests, but your lot have just as many!

  • jmcilhinney on May 6, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    After Australia lost to NZ in Hobart, RandyOZ said that Usman Khawaja had to be axed if he didn't perform for the PM's XI in a tour game against India. Khawaja scored 25 in his only innings in that game. Not exactly performing and Khawaja was indeed dropped. Kahwaja has since averaged 17 in 8 innings in the Sheffield Shield and RandyOZ is now demanding his inclusion in the Australia Test team again. That's the great Australian depth that he keeps telling us about. Let's see how Bell does in this tour game against WI. With a Test average of over 46, a score of 25 should be easily enough to warrant Bell's selection for England by RandyOZ' standards. We England fans have slightly higher standards than that though, so we'll be looking for a rather better score.

  • jackiethepen on May 5, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    Bell doesn't want to kick his heels at Warwickshire but I don't think the Lions should be used as a practice team for England players looking for a game. The Lions is for Test hopefuls. Bell had a superb game at Edgbaston, pulling his County back from the brink of 14-4 in dire batting conditions against an excellent bowling attack. Bell is a work horse. Offer him a game and he'll take it. But spare a thought for the batsman who might have got his chance with the Lions due to Stoke's injury. Strauss went off and played for another County when he was short of a game. Why can't Warwickshire lend Bell to Durham who are playing at the Riverside next week? That would seem like a fair deal given that Stokes injured his back in the game against Warwickshire.

  • rollertroy on May 5, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Compton should really be considered for the first test squad. the guy is in form and was born in the right country to slot into the top 6

  • Trickstar on May 5, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @JG2704 Quite a good side that mate but surely even for the WI's we need to play 11 guys in the side.

  • JG2704 on May 5, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Hi 5W - I'm afraid I have to admit I'm more of an armchair fan and when the weather is good I like going for a cycle ride and take my radio with me. I think with the exception of bumble I prefer the radio commentary. I'm not going to get involved in getting into any dialect with RO/J2 when the predictable comms come as they never respond to anything aimed back anyway. I actually think Aus will be much tougher next time and I must admit I like Clarke's captaincy.I see we have a no win series with WI next (could be even more so with the visa probs). Personally I still like the 5 man bowling attack. Funnily enough I don't like Bob Willis but he is the 1st Sky pundit to call for the 5 man attack and if Bell rediscovers his form I do quite like his team for WI of Strauss,Cook,Trott,KP, Prior,Bres,Broad,Swann,Jim,Finn but as Atherton rightly said they wouldn't do that in UAE so it's even less likely to happen in UK. I still wish our selctors were a little less rigid in their selections

  • landl47 on May 5, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Bell's hundred against a good Durham attack must have come as a huge relief both to him and the England selectors. As he showed in 2011, when Bell is in form he's the equal of any batsman in the world. If he can get some runs for the Lions, that will stand him in good stead for the tests. I don't think there's anyone really pushing him for his place at the moment, though Bairstow's big innings won't have done his case any harm. I hope Stokes is not going to have chronic injury problems such as those that plagued Flintoff. He's a real prospect for the genuine all-rounder England needs.

  • 5wombats on May 5, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Hey @JG, hows it going? No doubt RandyOZ will be on here telling us how ordinary Bell is. Having watched the Aus batsmen lately Randy will know plenty about "ordinary". To be fair - Bell was all over the place in india and UAE - and he knows it. Only thing to do in these circumstances is man up, go out there and dig in. That's what he's doing. He can come back into form. The way this England set up is now - so tight, and with so many good players waiting to come in - Bell, like everyone else, does have to keep an eye on their place in the team. He'll be alright. You got tickets for any England games this Summer? (always supposing the glaciers recede in time...)

  • jmcilhinney on May 5, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Maybe the back injuries suffered by WI and Aust in WI are contagious and they've brought them over with them ;) That's a bit of a tough break for Stokes after the long issue with his finger but I doubt that he was in line for a Test place any time too soon anyway. With him showing signs of regaining some form, England at least are likely to gain more by having Bell play that warmup game than Stokes, assuming there's some decent weather by then and it goes ahead. @JG2704, with regards to selection, ideally I would think that the "team" should be considered to be a squad of about 14 and the final 11 for any game should be relatively fluid, with any of that squad able to step in at any time. With that attitude it would have been much easier so sub Bopara in for Bell or Morgan in UAE or SL. If they think Bopara is good enough to play then he should have played the 3rd Test in UAE in place of one of those two but without that meaning the one left out couldn't come back in again very soon.

  • JG2704 on May 5, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Have to say what a refreshingly honest admission by Bell. I still feel that we should have left him out after the first 2 tests of the Pak tour. Some folk feel that I have something against Bell - I have not but just felt that at least one of our batsmen should have been dropped and Bell was the worst. When it is just one batsman out of nick you can often carry him through if the rest are performing (like Cook) but I feel selection decisions cost the team. Also had a 5th bowler come in for Bell it could have been seen as a tactical change more than a like for like - so would have been not so much Bell being dropped. Anyway I hope the recent ton is a sign but at the same time I hope that Eng learn from the recent 2 series that sometimes they have to make brave decs in order to stop the rot. Feel the former may well happen but the latter will not

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  • JG2704 on May 5, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Have to say what a refreshingly honest admission by Bell. I still feel that we should have left him out after the first 2 tests of the Pak tour. Some folk feel that I have something against Bell - I have not but just felt that at least one of our batsmen should have been dropped and Bell was the worst. When it is just one batsman out of nick you can often carry him through if the rest are performing (like Cook) but I feel selection decisions cost the team. Also had a 5th bowler come in for Bell it could have been seen as a tactical change more than a like for like - so would have been not so much Bell being dropped. Anyway I hope the recent ton is a sign but at the same time I hope that Eng learn from the recent 2 series that sometimes they have to make brave decs in order to stop the rot. Feel the former may well happen but the latter will not

  • jmcilhinney on May 5, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Maybe the back injuries suffered by WI and Aust in WI are contagious and they've brought them over with them ;) That's a bit of a tough break for Stokes after the long issue with his finger but I doubt that he was in line for a Test place any time too soon anyway. With him showing signs of regaining some form, England at least are likely to gain more by having Bell play that warmup game than Stokes, assuming there's some decent weather by then and it goes ahead. @JG2704, with regards to selection, ideally I would think that the "team" should be considered to be a squad of about 14 and the final 11 for any game should be relatively fluid, with any of that squad able to step in at any time. With that attitude it would have been much easier so sub Bopara in for Bell or Morgan in UAE or SL. If they think Bopara is good enough to play then he should have played the 3rd Test in UAE in place of one of those two but without that meaning the one left out couldn't come back in again very soon.

  • 5wombats on May 5, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Hey @JG, hows it going? No doubt RandyOZ will be on here telling us how ordinary Bell is. Having watched the Aus batsmen lately Randy will know plenty about "ordinary". To be fair - Bell was all over the place in india and UAE - and he knows it. Only thing to do in these circumstances is man up, go out there and dig in. That's what he's doing. He can come back into form. The way this England set up is now - so tight, and with so many good players waiting to come in - Bell, like everyone else, does have to keep an eye on their place in the team. He'll be alright. You got tickets for any England games this Summer? (always supposing the glaciers recede in time...)

  • landl47 on May 5, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Bell's hundred against a good Durham attack must have come as a huge relief both to him and the England selectors. As he showed in 2011, when Bell is in form he's the equal of any batsman in the world. If he can get some runs for the Lions, that will stand him in good stead for the tests. I don't think there's anyone really pushing him for his place at the moment, though Bairstow's big innings won't have done his case any harm. I hope Stokes is not going to have chronic injury problems such as those that plagued Flintoff. He's a real prospect for the genuine all-rounder England needs.

  • JG2704 on May 5, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Hi 5W - I'm afraid I have to admit I'm more of an armchair fan and when the weather is good I like going for a cycle ride and take my radio with me. I think with the exception of bumble I prefer the radio commentary. I'm not going to get involved in getting into any dialect with RO/J2 when the predictable comms come as they never respond to anything aimed back anyway. I actually think Aus will be much tougher next time and I must admit I like Clarke's captaincy.I see we have a no win series with WI next (could be even more so with the visa probs). Personally I still like the 5 man bowling attack. Funnily enough I don't like Bob Willis but he is the 1st Sky pundit to call for the 5 man attack and if Bell rediscovers his form I do quite like his team for WI of Strauss,Cook,Trott,KP, Prior,Bres,Broad,Swann,Jim,Finn but as Atherton rightly said they wouldn't do that in UAE so it's even less likely to happen in UK. I still wish our selctors were a little less rigid in their selections

  • Trickstar on May 5, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @JG2704 Quite a good side that mate but surely even for the WI's we need to play 11 guys in the side.

  • rollertroy on May 5, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Compton should really be considered for the first test squad. the guy is in form and was born in the right country to slot into the top 6

  • jackiethepen on May 5, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    Bell doesn't want to kick his heels at Warwickshire but I don't think the Lions should be used as a practice team for England players looking for a game. The Lions is for Test hopefuls. Bell had a superb game at Edgbaston, pulling his County back from the brink of 14-4 in dire batting conditions against an excellent bowling attack. Bell is a work horse. Offer him a game and he'll take it. But spare a thought for the batsman who might have got his chance with the Lions due to Stoke's injury. Strauss went off and played for another County when he was short of a game. Why can't Warwickshire lend Bell to Durham who are playing at the Riverside next week? That would seem like a fair deal given that Stokes injured his back in the game against Warwickshire.

  • jmcilhinney on May 6, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    After Australia lost to NZ in Hobart, RandyOZ said that Usman Khawaja had to be axed if he didn't perform for the PM's XI in a tour game against India. Khawaja scored 25 in his only innings in that game. Not exactly performing and Khawaja was indeed dropped. Kahwaja has since averaged 17 in 8 innings in the Sheffield Shield and RandyOZ is now demanding his inclusion in the Australia Test team again. That's the great Australian depth that he keeps telling us about. Let's see how Bell does in this tour game against WI. With a Test average of over 46, a score of 25 should be easily enough to warrant Bell's selection for England by RandyOZ' standards. We England fans have slightly higher standards than that though, so we'll be looking for a rather better score.

  • Meety on May 6, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    Not sure as to why they'd put Bell in , surely they've seen enough of him? @jmcilhinney "... That's the great Australian depth that he keeps telling us about..." - perhaps you should look up Cosgrove, Neville, & Lynn & Burns. Randy & Jonesy are serial pests, but your lot have just as many!