England v West Indies, 1st ODI, West End June 15, 2012

Bell doubtful after blow to jaw

41

Few people expect Ian Bell to assume Kevin Pietersen's one-day role for England with quite the same flamboyance as his predecessor, but his first audition for the role could hardly have been more disheartening as he took a blow on the chin in net practice which has left him a doubtful starter for the first one-day international against West Indies at West End.

Bell, who was in line to open the batting after Pietersen's premature retirement from England's one-day side, top-edged a pull while facing throw-downs in the indoor nets from the fielding coach, Richard Halsall.

With blood pouring from the wound, and a cleaning-up operation underway in the net, he was taken to hospital where he received ten stitches and underwent X-rays.

The ECB confirmed on Friday evening that he had "a possible non-displaced fracture of the mandibular condyle." In layman's terms, he has been struck on the lower jaw and is unlikely to be eating or chatting too enthusiastically for a while. England planned to delay a decision until the morning of the match, but the prognosis was not encouraging.

When it came to replacing Pietersen, people questioned whether he could walk the walk; now he could not even talk the talk.

Alastair Cook, England's captain in 50-over cricket, had anticipated questions about how they would cope without Pietersen. "We have won one-day games before without him - clearly he'll be missed, but we'll move on as a team," was his stock answer to that.

But to be asked to ponder how England could then best manage without the batsman earmarked to replace Pietersen was a stroke of ill luck he could not have anticipated. Ravi Bopara has ambitions to open but, by his own admission on Thursday, they are not quite as pronounced when the ball is swinging and seaming in England; Craig Kieswetter's technique has been found lacking; and to promote Jonathan Trott from No. 3 might be viewed as even more disruptive. If Bell had the painful jaw, Cook was left to cope with the headache.

'It is a concern because he didn't look in a good way when he walked off," Cook said. "There was quite a lot of blood and he has had stitches. We'll announce the team at the toss like we normally do. We'll just have to play that one by ear. Emergencies can come up in any game. That's why you've got a squad."

Darren Sammy, West Indies' captain, said: "I don't think any cricketer wants to see an opposing player get injured, or will take pleasure in that. It is unfortunate for him. But we have to focus on other things."

The first of three games in the NatWest Series gets underway on Saturday, with West Indies set to welcome back Chris Gayle for his first international appearance in more than a year.

West Indies have not won a one-day series away from home against an international side other than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe since they beat England 2-1 five years ago, under Gayle's captaincy.

For all that, they are in the rare position of being termed favourites by the English media. "I have not heard favourite and West Indies in the same sentence for a long time but it is good that you recognise that," Sammy said. "England in England is always difficult but we believe as a team that we should win the one-day series."

England calculate that the emphasis on West Indies' considerable six-hitting prowess fails to take account of the rule change that sees the use of two new balls. In English conditions, that shifts the onus back to a more traditional approach in the first half of the innings. It is also likely to see them field four fast bowlers, with Tim Bresnan batting at No. 7.

"Clearly we need people at the top of the order with good techniques and with myself and hopefully Belly at the top we can do that," Cook said. "It's about winning games of cricket and we've won the last five series at home. We're a tough team to beat in our conditions."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pablo123 on June 18, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    As I said earlier in this post, a tiny injury like that is not going to rule out anyone...... silly people, and he went on to make a 100. pfffffst

  • JG2704 on June 16, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    @TheLight on (June 16 2012, 07:09 AM GMT) sounds to me like "The light is on but no one's home"

  • JG2704 on June 16, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    @Rally_Windies on (June 15 2012, 14:35 PM GMT) Funny how you imply Bell didn't want to play WI so feigned an injury and then it turns out that Gayle is the man who picks up an injury? So does this mean by your logic that Gayle is scared of playing against England? Also funny how Gayle decided to start playing tests - AFTER the tough 2 series vs England and Australia.

  • jmcilhinney on June 16, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    @TheLight on (June 16 2012, 07:09 AM GMT), we're all getting a bit tried of stupid comments about teams "making excuses". Do you really think that Ian Bell purposely top-edged a pull shot into his face and fractured his jaw so that England could have something to blame IF they lose the series against basically the same team that they beat back in the WC that, unlike this series, was not played in their home conditions? Now that Chris Gayle has an injury, are we to believe that WI are getting their excuses ready?

  • on June 16, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Gayle can really bounce back with a good knock. Only thing he needs to do is play carefully not like T20. Singles are more important which can win matches & odd boundry win help you acceralate the run rate.

  • SNIFFLEATHER on June 16, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Grampy doesn't play (reportedly due to a foot injury), but hopefully the crowd and viewers will still be entertained by two competitive sides. The shorter the format, the closer the difference of quality between teams. If the weather holds out, should be an interesting series. Shout out to Windies 'A', who go up against a talented India 'A' in the third and final 'test' later today with the series tied at 1-1. Good luck boys, you can be very proud of the way that you have played so far, now finish the job and win the series.

  • Munkeymomo on June 16, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @TheLight: Yes, a fractured jaw is one of the oldest excuses in the book, up there with "My dog ate it". :P

  • Min2_cric on June 16, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    i dont think dat chris gayle will be able to encounter jimmy anderson's swinging deliveries...englands gotcha win...

  • riley22 on June 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    how much does Gayle want to play?

  • ThirteenthMan on June 16, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    "The ECB confirmed on Friday evening that he had "a possible non-displaced fracture of the mandibular condyle."

    Confirmed?? Yes, that is what we all suspected!!

    Why do so many people misuse "confirm(ed)"?

  • Pablo123 on June 18, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    As I said earlier in this post, a tiny injury like that is not going to rule out anyone...... silly people, and he went on to make a 100. pfffffst

  • JG2704 on June 16, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    @TheLight on (June 16 2012, 07:09 AM GMT) sounds to me like "The light is on but no one's home"

  • JG2704 on June 16, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    @Rally_Windies on (June 15 2012, 14:35 PM GMT) Funny how you imply Bell didn't want to play WI so feigned an injury and then it turns out that Gayle is the man who picks up an injury? So does this mean by your logic that Gayle is scared of playing against England? Also funny how Gayle decided to start playing tests - AFTER the tough 2 series vs England and Australia.

  • jmcilhinney on June 16, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    @TheLight on (June 16 2012, 07:09 AM GMT), we're all getting a bit tried of stupid comments about teams "making excuses". Do you really think that Ian Bell purposely top-edged a pull shot into his face and fractured his jaw so that England could have something to blame IF they lose the series against basically the same team that they beat back in the WC that, unlike this series, was not played in their home conditions? Now that Chris Gayle has an injury, are we to believe that WI are getting their excuses ready?

  • on June 16, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Gayle can really bounce back with a good knock. Only thing he needs to do is play carefully not like T20. Singles are more important which can win matches & odd boundry win help you acceralate the run rate.

  • SNIFFLEATHER on June 16, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Grampy doesn't play (reportedly due to a foot injury), but hopefully the crowd and viewers will still be entertained by two competitive sides. The shorter the format, the closer the difference of quality between teams. If the weather holds out, should be an interesting series. Shout out to Windies 'A', who go up against a talented India 'A' in the third and final 'test' later today with the series tied at 1-1. Good luck boys, you can be very proud of the way that you have played so far, now finish the job and win the series.

  • Munkeymomo on June 16, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @TheLight: Yes, a fractured jaw is one of the oldest excuses in the book, up there with "My dog ate it". :P

  • Min2_cric on June 16, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    i dont think dat chris gayle will be able to encounter jimmy anderson's swinging deliveries...englands gotcha win...

  • riley22 on June 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    how much does Gayle want to play?

  • ThirteenthMan on June 16, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    "The ECB confirmed on Friday evening that he had "a possible non-displaced fracture of the mandibular condyle."

    Confirmed?? Yes, that is what we all suspected!!

    Why do so many people misuse "confirm(ed)"?

  • simon_w on June 16, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    this is gonna be really interesting. not going to argue with those who make WI slight favourites, but it can't be by much. should be a closely contested and intriguing series -- i'm really not sure what to expect :)

  • TheLight on June 16, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Seems as if England is making excuses in advance for losing the series. I expect WI to sweep this ODI series with the line up of players that they have. Seems to formidable even for England

  • jackiethepen on June 16, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Bell was wearing a helmet.

  • Baundele on June 16, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Time for ECB and Flower to say sorry to KP and persuade him to play in the shorter format.

  • IndiaNumeroUno on June 16, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Lesson for budding cricketers reading this page - NEVER play without helmet. Doesn't matter how good you are.

  • cekoshy on June 16, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    we look forward to Gayle today!!

  • bobby1021 on June 16, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    its sad to hear that Bell got hurt,he will be ready for third one day,he n eed some rest,too much cricket r hurting the best,kevin pietersen the best one day player for England,he needs rest thats why he retire,he is young an will be back,welcome back CHRIS GAYLE,no matter what u r best,hope Gibson an his leader learn from their mistake,but u have to score,alot of them is waiting for u to fail,buts is human,u still the best

  • on June 15, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Oh wow, that is so sad! First Pietersen decides to retire and now this. Things aren't going England's way( besides the win of the test series of course)right now. I hope Ian Bell gets well soon and is able to play 'cause he is an excellent batsman and England really need him right now.

  • on June 15, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    i dont like him.Bairstow should get chance

  • on June 15, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    ITS BAD THING HAPEN BUT SHOULD NOT HELP THE WESTNIDES I KNOW THEIR AND PAK NATURE THEYWIN IN THEIR WORST NOT IN OPSITION WORST

  • on June 15, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    I am so sorry for Ian Bell , to me he is the best of the English bats .I wish you a speedy recovery Ian.

  • on June 15, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    WI have hitters. Not proper batsmen who can counter seam and swing. England will be tough to beat.

  • on June 15, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    Would make sense for WI to leave out Narine, but they will not. The cold and damp conditions do not seem to suit him observant fan will note how often he was blowing into his hands in the first test. If he does play he would be well advised to focus on offbreaks (which he turns a fair way) flight and changes of psce with only one or two variants. He is good enough to do that. Best, Rampaul, Russell along with Sammy, DJ Bravo should be sufficent spin can come from Gayle and or Samuels.If Tino plays he must be concentrate on full lengths and late inswing rather than wasting the ball being short all the time.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on June 15, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    OMG! I'm gutted. I was looking forward to see Bell at the top of the order. Very sad for Bell. Very sorry for Bell. God bless him and hope he has a complete and speedy recovery.

  • on June 15, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    this team i.e the west indies will be able to beat england easily.the right team are now here this is now cricket,england will be flogged.the comments of boycott will pur the team on to beat england badly he must remember the west indies didn't lose to australia

  • on June 15, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Bell Injury

    Sure a couple of years ago I had 12 stitches in the chin from falling off the stairs fixing a light fitting. And the next day I was raring to go after stitching at the admirable Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

    But remember all I had to down sit on a nice comfy seat on the way to SF

    I didn't have to face an international attack. And that attack may well target my injury. And that is not unfair how many batsmen have has their fingers jammed against the handle and the quickies have targeted that.

    So Ian

    Best of luck I love watching you bat.

  • NAZMO-CRICKFANN on June 15, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    well sorry to hear about his accident... BUT WEST INDIES WILL WIN WITH OR WITHOUT ENGLAND'S BEST

  • on June 15, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    The Windies are going to face a very tough time in England in the ODI series. I don't think that the Windies are going to be able to win the series. I don't know how the English media can term them as the favorites.

  • Yevghenny on June 15, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    the fallout from KP's retirement continues!

  • jonesy2 on June 15, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    its a pretty moot point anyway, the windies are going to profoundly hammer england

  • emmersonne on June 15, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Luckily, I happen to know a Rosebowl based player averaging over 100 in limited overs cricket this year. Oh, and in a stunning coincidence, he's an opener too!

  • Pablo123 on June 15, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Ridonculous. A gash on the chin ruling out play - you have to be kidding me - he'll play.

  • Rally_Windies on June 15, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Injury?

    I think he is scared of the WI ODI team, the same way KP is scared of it...

    the thought of Gayle, Dwyane Bravo, Pollard, Smith, Russell,and Narine on the same team had him distracted in the nets and caused the injury.

  • Imad_K on June 15, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Peter the throw downs were probably at 90mph I reckon and called bouncers.

  • rayfanatics on June 15, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    Looking at Straussy's stats during the last 2 years, I am quite surprised he retired from ODIs. He would be the apt guy to replace Bell, experience, good understanding with Cook and certainly a more adventurous player than Bell.

  • rayfanatics on June 15, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Phew! Blessing in disguise. England do have a chance provided they pick the right replacement.

  • jagatr on June 15, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @Peter Walcott - remember how Pigeon managed to twist his ankle?

  • Min2_cric on June 15, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL....well said dude..good joke..

  • jmcilhinney on June 15, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @Peter Walcott on (June 15 2012, 12:51 PM GMT), I'd have to guess that he put his teeth through his lip. If Bell doesn't play the first game and England find success with the combination they do use, I wonder whether they would look to bring him in for the next game. You would think not. Of course, if they don't find success then you'd think they'd be looking to get him back in ASAP.

  • on June 15, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    How do you get injured so badly from throw-downs? This guy has to be seriously unlucky.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 15, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Oh that's done it, he'll have to retire now. The schedule is much too demanding...

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  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 15, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Oh that's done it, he'll have to retire now. The schedule is much too demanding...

  • on June 15, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    How do you get injured so badly from throw-downs? This guy has to be seriously unlucky.

  • jmcilhinney on June 15, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @Peter Walcott on (June 15 2012, 12:51 PM GMT), I'd have to guess that he put his teeth through his lip. If Bell doesn't play the first game and England find success with the combination they do use, I wonder whether they would look to bring him in for the next game. You would think not. Of course, if they don't find success then you'd think they'd be looking to get him back in ASAP.

  • Min2_cric on June 15, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL....well said dude..good joke..

  • jagatr on June 15, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @Peter Walcott - remember how Pigeon managed to twist his ankle?

  • rayfanatics on June 15, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Phew! Blessing in disguise. England do have a chance provided they pick the right replacement.

  • rayfanatics on June 15, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    Looking at Straussy's stats during the last 2 years, I am quite surprised he retired from ODIs. He would be the apt guy to replace Bell, experience, good understanding with Cook and certainly a more adventurous player than Bell.

  • Imad_K on June 15, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Peter the throw downs were probably at 90mph I reckon and called bouncers.

  • Rally_Windies on June 15, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Injury?

    I think he is scared of the WI ODI team, the same way KP is scared of it...

    the thought of Gayle, Dwyane Bravo, Pollard, Smith, Russell,and Narine on the same team had him distracted in the nets and caused the injury.

  • Pablo123 on June 15, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Ridonculous. A gash on the chin ruling out play - you have to be kidding me - he'll play.