The Investec Ashes 2013 July 15, 2013

Tension? We sat around eating Cornettos

I was delighted to play such a key role in a memorable victory and although the Trent Bridge Test became very tight, we were all very calm during the lunch break
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When I come to look back on my career, the Trent Bridge Test of 2013 will always rate as a highlight. To play a match-defining innings with the team under pressure, against a demanding attack, and the fact that it helped us win the game makes it very special. I accept it was probably the best innings of my Test career to this point.

I owed the team those runs. I've felt in good form all year, but I haven't had the scores to show for it, and I had a relatively disappointing year in 2012. I was flying in 2010 and 2011, but then I had a long layoff ahead of going to the UAE and struggled against Saeed Ajmal, who is right up there among the toughest bowlers I've faced. Maybe I lost a bit of confidence as a result and it has taken a while to rediscover my best form.

It's not as if I felt I had anything to prove. Maybe if I had not enjoyed a good series in Australia in 2010-11, I might have felt that way. But I've had good innings before. I scored a century against India at Trent Bridge a couple of years ago which helped set up a victory, and I've helped us fight for draws in Cape Town and Auckland. But whatever the merits of other series, for anyone in England or Australia, the Ashes is always the biggest series you play, so to contribute to a victory is a special feeling. It's definitely the most important innings I've played in an Ashes match.

As a game it was up there with Edgbaston 2005 for drama. There were so many momentum swings; so much drama. From a personal perspective, it's more satisfying to have played a large part in this result. When you look back on your career, you want to know you've scored your runs in the biggest games, under the most pressure. I did that at Trent Bridge.

I was at the other end when Stuart Broad survived that appeal. I honestly didn't know he had hit it, and I've always thought Aleem Dar is an exceptional umpire. At the time I put the Australian reaction down to frustration.

Broad didn't mention the edge and I didn't know about it until I saw a replay back in the dressing room. The fact is that almost no batsmen in world cricket walk. It's within everyone's right to wait for the umpire's decision, and we have seen the batsmen of both sides do that in this game. I can't see it causing any lingering problem between the teams.

You honestly don't always know when you've edged it. I didn't feel anything when I was out. I heard a nick, but I didn't feel anything, and it was the same for Joe Root when he was caught down the leg side. He heard something, but didn't feel it and, had he reviewed, he may well have been successful. There was no sign of an edge on Hot Spot.

Broad didn't mention the edge and I didn't know about it until I saw a replay back in the dressing room. The fact is that almost no batsmen in world cricket walk

The Australian bowlers all like to have a chat - that's a polite way of putting it - but at this stage of my career, I barely even notice. Maybe when I was younger, I wasn't prepared for it, but now it just washes over me. I never respond. The whole purpose is to make you lose concentration, so if you allow yourself to become distracted by it, you're letting it affect your game.

We have a great bowler of our own these days. Jimmy Anderson's career record might not show it - that can happen if you start your career early and learn your trade at the highest level - but he is well on his way to establishing himself as a great bowler.

We've known for a few years that he was a match-winner in typical green, English conditions, but he has proved he is on dry, subcontinent-style pitches where he gains reverse swing, too. I really can't remember the last time he bowled badly with a red ball. He instills a sense of calm among the other bowlers and with his skill and fitness is a huge asset to us. I'm glad he's on my team; I wouldn't want to be facing him at this stage of his career.

It was pleasing to see how well he was supported in the field. Even in those last few minutes, Jonny Bairstow and I pulled off a couple of diving saves in the field that ensured we kept the batsmen under pressure. We made them fight for every run, and in the end the pressure told.

We were amazingly calm. It can get very tense in those situations, but after lunch on the final day, most of us sat around eating Cornettos before going out for that final session.

Teams tend to work on remaining calm on the pitch, and in a way that is easier, as you have your job to do and you can lose yourself by concentrating on that. But it's in the dressing room where things can become tense, and if that environment is wrong, other things fall apart. We were excellent in that respect at Trent Bridge.

That bodes very well for us for the rest of the series. We know we're going to be tested again and again, but we're proved we can withstand that and come through it as the winning side.

Ian Bell was speaking to George Dobell

A fixture in England's middle order for almost a decade, Ian Bell has played in three Ashes-winning sides

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jb633 on July 16, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    It was a very timely hundred and one which silenced his critics, including myself. I have always felt he looks reasonably assured in SA, ENG, AUS and I think he has the technique and the talent to do well here. In the sub continent I think it is a completley different story. I think with Bell, what makes him successful in these countries are the same qualities that make him unsuccessful in Asia. It is similar with MS Dhoni but in reverse. His fast hands, lack of footwork and use of his wrists make him very successful in Asia but it will never work against the seaming ball. In this innings the conditions were more like those he would encounter in Asia, the difference being that Aus did not have the spinners to use the conditions like an Ajmal, Herath or Ashwin might for example. I expect Bell to have a very successful 2013/14 as Aus are lacking in cutting edge spin and he is generally a very good player of seam up.

  • Harlequin. on July 16, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Great article. Refreshing to hear an honest account of a current batsman on the front line. I backed Bell for a lot of runs at the start of the series, and hopefully this ton is a sign of more to come. Go on the Terminator!

  • Nutcutlet on July 15, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Congratulations on your fine knock, Ian. I, along with many thousands of others have been waiting for a while for you to deliver a genuinely great innings. IMO,this was it & as it was the first in an Ashes' series for either side (just!), all England supporters hope it has put down a marker for what is to come. Now the confidence should be back, please bottle it and take it with you through the next nine Tests (for starters!). I don't care if you are not always picture-book to watch, so long as you are out there, with the same attitude, the same degree of bloody-mindedness, batting in that oh-so-special zone. I have not always been your greatest fan, but -- good news -- I'm a convert now!

  • emmersonne on July 17, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Let us not forget that in 2009 Australia scored more runs and took more wickets with better averages than England and lost 2-1. In 2005 Australia were, on paper, a superior team (one of the best bowlers ever had to tread on a cricket ball to even things up) and lost 2-1. Being "the better" side doesn't guarantee you anything.

  • Hammond on July 17, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @Dashgar- I think you made that up son. Len Huttons 1953 ashes side, Percy Chapmans 1928 side or Illingworths 1971 side are all superior to this current England side. I will agree with you on one point though. This is probably the worst Australian side I have ever seen.

  • H_Z_O on July 16, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    @jackiethepen it was a fairly obvious nick (off the face), but I agree that the idea it went straight to slip is complete nonsense that's been fabricated by people who didn't see the incident or are choosing to exaggerate it for their own agenda.

    I thought he'd edged it right away, I thought it was pretty clear, but I also saw the deflection off Haddin's gloves. Still think a top umpire needs to see that, but I also suspect Dar himself feels he should have seen it. I also wonder if in future umpires in that situation will err on the side of the team without reviews and force the one with reviews to use one if the decision is wrong. After all, the goal is more correct decisions.

    Broad knew he'd hit it as it came off the face, Dar probably should have known, but I don't expect Bell, trying to back up properly, to be watching the other end intently for the slightest nick. That's an impossibly high bar to set for the non-striker.

  • Speng on July 16, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    Bell's century is huge for England because he's looked good scoring 20s and 30s in the last few tests so it's great to see him cash in on form. The batsman I'd really like to see fire in tests is Trott as he certainly has some humongous scores bottled up in him as form is draining out his ears at the moment and hopefully he can cash in on it before it runs out. If England are to win this series as big as most pundits thought before the series their top 7 will need to pile on the runs as I don't think the bowling lineup is that much better than Australia's

  • jackiethepen on July 16, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    The problem is, kitten, Broad did nick it to the keeper. You have to check your facts before you express moral outrage. He did not nick it to slips. I have videoed the innings. It went like this. Broad nicked it to the keeper. Bell may not have heard that nick. There was a lot of noise in the ground at the time. The keeper failed to collect it. He might have dropped it but it cannoned off his gloves into the slips. Now that is the trajectory which indicates a thick edge. But the umpire and Bell both knew that the ball had gone to the keeper. I feel sorry for Dar. It might have helped if there had been more careful initial analysis from the commentators. What's worrying is that so many reporters/ commentators seem to have it in for Broad. So much so that they jumped to the wrong conclusion. This still hasn't been put right. You still read about the outrage of a thick edge. It isn't fair to either Broad and Dar. It's almost as though the media prefer the controversy to the truth.

  • Dashgar on July 16, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    @Hammond, in 2011 Nasser Hussain, Bob Willis, Angus Fraser, David Lloyd, Paul Allott and Laurence Booth all said this English side was the best they had ever seen. They can't say any more than than that. Only Root and Bairstow have been added since then. And you're right, Australia's tail wagged, twice. This is because it's an excellent tail. All four bowlers would be number 8 in most test sides. If anything the anomaly was the lack of runs from Clarke. If he fires then Australia could dominate this series.

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 "better players the likes of Steve Smith ,Cowan,Hughes and Rogers of Aus on same good conditions" right. So generous of you to praise Stuart Broad like that, but he is probably a better batsman than any you have mentioned. As for anyone higher up the English order, dream on son.

  • jb633 on July 16, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    It was a very timely hundred and one which silenced his critics, including myself. I have always felt he looks reasonably assured in SA, ENG, AUS and I think he has the technique and the talent to do well here. In the sub continent I think it is a completley different story. I think with Bell, what makes him successful in these countries are the same qualities that make him unsuccessful in Asia. It is similar with MS Dhoni but in reverse. His fast hands, lack of footwork and use of his wrists make him very successful in Asia but it will never work against the seaming ball. In this innings the conditions were more like those he would encounter in Asia, the difference being that Aus did not have the spinners to use the conditions like an Ajmal, Herath or Ashwin might for example. I expect Bell to have a very successful 2013/14 as Aus are lacking in cutting edge spin and he is generally a very good player of seam up.

  • Harlequin. on July 16, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Great article. Refreshing to hear an honest account of a current batsman on the front line. I backed Bell for a lot of runs at the start of the series, and hopefully this ton is a sign of more to come. Go on the Terminator!

  • Nutcutlet on July 15, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Congratulations on your fine knock, Ian. I, along with many thousands of others have been waiting for a while for you to deliver a genuinely great innings. IMO,this was it & as it was the first in an Ashes' series for either side (just!), all England supporters hope it has put down a marker for what is to come. Now the confidence should be back, please bottle it and take it with you through the next nine Tests (for starters!). I don't care if you are not always picture-book to watch, so long as you are out there, with the same attitude, the same degree of bloody-mindedness, batting in that oh-so-special zone. I have not always been your greatest fan, but -- good news -- I'm a convert now!

  • emmersonne on July 17, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Let us not forget that in 2009 Australia scored more runs and took more wickets with better averages than England and lost 2-1. In 2005 Australia were, on paper, a superior team (one of the best bowlers ever had to tread on a cricket ball to even things up) and lost 2-1. Being "the better" side doesn't guarantee you anything.

  • Hammond on July 17, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @Dashgar- I think you made that up son. Len Huttons 1953 ashes side, Percy Chapmans 1928 side or Illingworths 1971 side are all superior to this current England side. I will agree with you on one point though. This is probably the worst Australian side I have ever seen.

  • H_Z_O on July 16, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    @jackiethepen it was a fairly obvious nick (off the face), but I agree that the idea it went straight to slip is complete nonsense that's been fabricated by people who didn't see the incident or are choosing to exaggerate it for their own agenda.

    I thought he'd edged it right away, I thought it was pretty clear, but I also saw the deflection off Haddin's gloves. Still think a top umpire needs to see that, but I also suspect Dar himself feels he should have seen it. I also wonder if in future umpires in that situation will err on the side of the team without reviews and force the one with reviews to use one if the decision is wrong. After all, the goal is more correct decisions.

    Broad knew he'd hit it as it came off the face, Dar probably should have known, but I don't expect Bell, trying to back up properly, to be watching the other end intently for the slightest nick. That's an impossibly high bar to set for the non-striker.

  • Speng on July 16, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    Bell's century is huge for England because he's looked good scoring 20s and 30s in the last few tests so it's great to see him cash in on form. The batsman I'd really like to see fire in tests is Trott as he certainly has some humongous scores bottled up in him as form is draining out his ears at the moment and hopefully he can cash in on it before it runs out. If England are to win this series as big as most pundits thought before the series their top 7 will need to pile on the runs as I don't think the bowling lineup is that much better than Australia's

  • jackiethepen on July 16, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    The problem is, kitten, Broad did nick it to the keeper. You have to check your facts before you express moral outrage. He did not nick it to slips. I have videoed the innings. It went like this. Broad nicked it to the keeper. Bell may not have heard that nick. There was a lot of noise in the ground at the time. The keeper failed to collect it. He might have dropped it but it cannoned off his gloves into the slips. Now that is the trajectory which indicates a thick edge. But the umpire and Bell both knew that the ball had gone to the keeper. I feel sorry for Dar. It might have helped if there had been more careful initial analysis from the commentators. What's worrying is that so many reporters/ commentators seem to have it in for Broad. So much so that they jumped to the wrong conclusion. This still hasn't been put right. You still read about the outrage of a thick edge. It isn't fair to either Broad and Dar. It's almost as though the media prefer the controversy to the truth.

  • Dashgar on July 16, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    @Hammond, in 2011 Nasser Hussain, Bob Willis, Angus Fraser, David Lloyd, Paul Allott and Laurence Booth all said this English side was the best they had ever seen. They can't say any more than than that. Only Root and Bairstow have been added since then. And you're right, Australia's tail wagged, twice. This is because it's an excellent tail. All four bowlers would be number 8 in most test sides. If anything the anomaly was the lack of runs from Clarke. If he fires then Australia could dominate this series.

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 "better players the likes of Steve Smith ,Cowan,Hughes and Rogers of Aus on same good conditions" right. So generous of you to praise Stuart Broad like that, but he is probably a better batsman than any you have mentioned. As for anyone higher up the English order, dream on son.

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    @Dashgar- how is this "considered England's best team ever"? I don't think anyone in English cricket would be even close to saying that.. My point is Australia broke numerous all time test records in this test and still lost. What will happen when England get out of second gear and Australia stop breaking test records? I think Australia 9/117 is going to be a lot more common in the 7 months.

  • Dashgar on July 16, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I find it interesting, this is sometimes considered England's best team ever. This is also considered Australia's worst team ever. So the fact is that England's best ever is 14 runs better than Australia's worst ever. Enjoy the Cornetto's Bell.

  • shane-oh on July 16, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 - ermmm, I think you need to prise that other eye open, my Aussie friend.

    In general, as a NZ fan, I've always found it strange that a man with 18 hundreds and an average of nearly 46 never seems to get a lot of respect from the English fans and media. And it isn't because such numbers are unheard of in the team I support - Bell has an incredible record, and will end his career close to the top of English century makers. It's always been a hard one to understand.

    This is a very strong English test team, respect where it is due, and they were always going to be too good for Australia - although not as too good as the media here (in England) would have us believe.

  • liz1558 on July 16, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    There's a bit of Graham Thorpe about Ian Bell since 2009- technically the best batman in the team and capable of producing match winning knocks. KP is still the best, but Bell is worth a mention; a sort of Rohan Kanhai to KPs Sobers. Oh yes.

  • Red_Stripe on July 16, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Wow electric loco, you have nailed it there with your comments, such knowledge and clarity in your posts. I look forward to more of your insight throughout the series. On to more serious matters, this was a career defining knock from Ian Bell. I for one was getting increasingly frustrated with a nice looking 20 odd and then watching him nick off to slips or keeper. I am sure he was aware of similar criticism and that's what made this innings even better. Great start, now lets hope its a career defining series for Ian Bell.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 16, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    I have been a Bell fan since he started making inconsequential hundreds for a laugh-I never cared because there was an artistic merit to them and I enjoyed the playfulness they embodied. But others wanted a sterner more consequential Bell who could trade punches with the world's best bowlers and so it was he tightened up his game and still made artistic hundreds. In the last year I had grown bored though as he would spend ages getting to 25 and then give it away. This innings though serious was more in the mode of productive Bell, a major work, which started happily with a brace of fours like all good Bell knocks should. When he plays well he likes a few on the board early and I thought maybe this was the corner being turned. It was and the result was an impact 100 which made a target for Australia. It was hardly skittish or playful but full of thought and planning. Anyway it worked and hopefully he is out of the tunnel again.

  • TheDoctor394 on July 16, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Ian, I've long been a fan of yours, and believe you've faced a lot of unfair (and puzzling) critism, so I get joy whenever you succeed (especialy when it leads to an English win!), and you succeeded beautifully in this match. Congratulations.

  • SDHM on July 16, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    @Venkatesh - I think it was more to do with the match situation than the surface. I don't think this was a particularly difficult surface to stay in on, but I do think it was difficult to score on once the new ball softened (unless your name is Ashton Agar of course!) Bell has often been accused of 'soft' runs in the past - runs where other people had already done the hard work, or runs on belting batting surfaces. This was Bell truly having an impact on the game and shaping its course, and, as an England fan, long may it continue!

  • cozens on July 16, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    electric_loco_WAP4. Please. If you're going to atempt putting a point of view across, could you review your post prior to submitting and check it makes sense ? England are in a great position where they have 4 of their top 5 being exceptional players (Root is too young and inexperianced to include at the moment). Cook, Trott, KP and Bell all average over 45, which is no mean feat (especially when considering the amount of test matches they've played). Compare that to the Aus batting line up where only Clarke (who is a superb player) averages above 36 and you can see where the series will be won and lost. Austrailias no.11 cannot keep digging the top 5-6 out of a hole !

  • YorkshirePudding on July 16, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    While its a good read from Bell, I think he may be using writers perogative in regards to the calmness in the england camp at Lunch on the final day. At the best the Bowlers would have been talking aobut plans to dislodge Haddin/Pattinson, which would have included Cook, and Prior. to get thier inputs.

    That siad this was probably the best innings I've seen bell play since sydney in 2011, it was definately one of his more mature innings.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on July 16, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    What 90% of the "observers" seem to have missed was that the Broad edge was not a big deflection - in fact initially it seemed to me to be a drop by Brad Haddin. The big deviation appeared to be from Haddin's glove to the catcher - Clarke. I am pretty sure that (noise of glove and deflection) was what distracted umpire Aleen Dar, who is still among the best in the world.

  • on July 16, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 - Australia have a dozen bowlers better than Anderson ??!! Hahahaha ! Good one dude. You're awesome. Keep em coming.

  • Fluffykins on July 16, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Do hope that this innings from Bell may see his return to some consistency and give us a bit more solidity in the middle order.Also hope that Lords will inspire another demolishing display from Broad and help him to find a run of form.Not problems with our star player Anderson truly top bowler by far the most impressive in the match.

  • jmcilhinney on July 16, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 16, 2013, 5:04 GMT), Anderson bowled fewer overs in this game than any of the Australian bowlers but took more wickets and had a better economy rate.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 16, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Not in the class of Michel Clarke . He has got a decent record in the numbers ,as in a good tally of 3-figure scores and good amount of runs at decent avg. in Tests. You can't complain as in this game the numbers are all that matters in the end whether a bowler or bat. But he has done well for his limited talent and is by far the Eng's best player. Not bad when he's not anywhere has the talent , flair ,grace or skill of likes of Clarke . Also struggles vs spin ,where Clarke is the best in the world vs spin. He's done the job in the 1st test but and outscored better players the likes of Steve Smith ,Cowan,Hughes and Rogers of Aus on same good conditions.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 16, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    Anderson ,Great bowler ? Yes ,maybe from the Eng p.o.v a great . How can anyone not look great when you have likes of Broud, Bresnan and Finn sharing your attack . What that makes Pattinson ,Siddle and co. I wonder when a dozen bowlers who are better than Anderson are not even making in the Aussie squad? Guess the greatest ,a McGrath ?

  • on July 16, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Great to see Ian Bell getting a century after a bit of a lean patch. I hope he keeps himself fit and continues to score runs for England with such style and grace for at least 5 more years.

  • cric_J on July 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    I'm not sure if this was the best I have seen Bell play , but this was surely his most responsible innings for England. He proved his fans right who have long believed that he is an excellent player and can dish out match winning scores if he values his wicket and trusts his ability ,like he did in this match.

    Bell , when at his best , is probably the most elegant stroke maker in this team. There are no Cook-like punching drives , no Trott-like rock solid blocks and no KP-like lofting. He is just really easy on the eye with his shot making when he gets on. There is a certain flawlessness with his drives and a crispness with his cuts. Add to that his ability to try out some innovative shots as well and you have a player who is potentially terrific in terms of talent , but has not justified that appropriately on many occasions.

    Feel this innings could well change that for him.

    And , yeah keep the cornettos going for the next 9 matches as well. We might just need them again.

  • venkatesh018 on July 16, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    If Bell is honest, he will accept the fact that this wasn't the toughest of surfaces to bat on. By the lack of pace and bounce, the surface completely neutralized the strength of the Aussies, their pace attack. On a spin-friendly surface, the Aussies didn't pick their best spinner. This pitch didn't test the skills of the batsmen, only their patience. It was a good innings from Bell only for one reason: his powers of self-denial over a long period at the crease. To say this is his best ever innings is a bit overboard.

  • cricketeria on July 16, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Nicely written article Belly. Except I just CANNOT believe that you or Broad didn't think he had edged it. I support England, but it beggars belief that you didn't notice that edge. But yes, Jimmy Anderson is great full stop, and Cornettos taste great. Also I'd wager Captain Cook has a lot to do with keeping the team calm. True?

  • jmcilhinney on July 16, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    I've always been a fan of Ian Bell. Perhaps I'm biased by being an England fan but I think that, all else being equal, he's the best batsman in the world to watch scoring runs. If there's a feeling among some that he has failed to live up to expectations then it's testimony to his apparent talent that expectations are so high because any batsman would and should be proud of a Test average over 46. This innings was not one of those free-flowing affairs of his that are such a joy to watch but, for a fan of Test cricket and given the context, it was precisely what the situation required. Despite losing out to a deserving James Anderson in the MoM award, congratulations Ian Bell on a match-winning innings and may this be the start of an Ashes series that is as productive as the previous one.

  • novice_Win on July 16, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Let us wait and watch Mr. Bell ;) If Clarke gets going (as there are none others who know batting in Aussie team)... you might face huge problem...Aussie batting is not even half of what they were OR what English batting is ryt now so make hay...whilw the sun shines :) :P

  • kitten on July 16, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    For Bell to say that he did not see or hear Broad nick the ball, standing 60 odd feet away, and when everyone saw if not heard the big nick, is unbelievable. You can tell by his statement, that he does not want to get involved. Fair enough, but to say no one walks is not correct. Players who get big clear nicks invariably walk, it's mainly batsmen who nick to the keeper, and some of them are not even sure they have nicked it, as it could be a 'feather', and only the camera or snicko could spot it. So it's fair that batsmen don't walk and wait for the umpire or DRS to determine the result. But not to walk, when you have had a broad nick is brazen, and cheating, and not a good example for the younger generation who are watching the game.

  • on July 15, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Really !!!!! Not anyone can believe.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on July 15, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    Legend. Most aesthetically pleasing batsman of his generation, even ahead of Mahela and Rahul. Will end up averaging 50 in Test cricket, with 35 tons.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 15, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    You legend Ian Bell. Keep bringing home the goods out in the middle.

  • landl47 on July 15, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    A great game for Bell. He has made runs under pressure many times, but this might be the most crucial contribution he has made to winning a very important match.

    I hope the tough, gritty style he used for this game will be what he does for the rest of the series. A scrappy century is worth a lot more than a few pretty 20s and 30s. You showed you can do it, Ian- now do it again and again.

  • landl47 on July 15, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    A great game for Bell. He has made runs under pressure many times, but this might be the most crucial contribution he has made to winning a very important match.

    I hope the tough, gritty style he used for this game will be what he does for the rest of the series. A scrappy century is worth a lot more than a few pretty 20s and 30s. You showed you can do it, Ian- now do it again and again.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 15, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    You legend Ian Bell. Keep bringing home the goods out in the middle.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on July 15, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    Legend. Most aesthetically pleasing batsman of his generation, even ahead of Mahela and Rahul. Will end up averaging 50 in Test cricket, with 35 tons.

  • on July 15, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Really !!!!! Not anyone can believe.

  • kitten on July 16, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    For Bell to say that he did not see or hear Broad nick the ball, standing 60 odd feet away, and when everyone saw if not heard the big nick, is unbelievable. You can tell by his statement, that he does not want to get involved. Fair enough, but to say no one walks is not correct. Players who get big clear nicks invariably walk, it's mainly batsmen who nick to the keeper, and some of them are not even sure they have nicked it, as it could be a 'feather', and only the camera or snicko could spot it. So it's fair that batsmen don't walk and wait for the umpire or DRS to determine the result. But not to walk, when you have had a broad nick is brazen, and cheating, and not a good example for the younger generation who are watching the game.

  • novice_Win on July 16, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Let us wait and watch Mr. Bell ;) If Clarke gets going (as there are none others who know batting in Aussie team)... you might face huge problem...Aussie batting is not even half of what they were OR what English batting is ryt now so make hay...whilw the sun shines :) :P

  • jmcilhinney on July 16, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    I've always been a fan of Ian Bell. Perhaps I'm biased by being an England fan but I think that, all else being equal, he's the best batsman in the world to watch scoring runs. If there's a feeling among some that he has failed to live up to expectations then it's testimony to his apparent talent that expectations are so high because any batsman would and should be proud of a Test average over 46. This innings was not one of those free-flowing affairs of his that are such a joy to watch but, for a fan of Test cricket and given the context, it was precisely what the situation required. Despite losing out to a deserving James Anderson in the MoM award, congratulations Ian Bell on a match-winning innings and may this be the start of an Ashes series that is as productive as the previous one.

  • cricketeria on July 16, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Nicely written article Belly. Except I just CANNOT believe that you or Broad didn't think he had edged it. I support England, but it beggars belief that you didn't notice that edge. But yes, Jimmy Anderson is great full stop, and Cornettos taste great. Also I'd wager Captain Cook has a lot to do with keeping the team calm. True?

  • venkatesh018 on July 16, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    If Bell is honest, he will accept the fact that this wasn't the toughest of surfaces to bat on. By the lack of pace and bounce, the surface completely neutralized the strength of the Aussies, their pace attack. On a spin-friendly surface, the Aussies didn't pick their best spinner. This pitch didn't test the skills of the batsmen, only their patience. It was a good innings from Bell only for one reason: his powers of self-denial over a long period at the crease. To say this is his best ever innings is a bit overboard.

  • cric_J on July 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    I'm not sure if this was the best I have seen Bell play , but this was surely his most responsible innings for England. He proved his fans right who have long believed that he is an excellent player and can dish out match winning scores if he values his wicket and trusts his ability ,like he did in this match.

    Bell , when at his best , is probably the most elegant stroke maker in this team. There are no Cook-like punching drives , no Trott-like rock solid blocks and no KP-like lofting. He is just really easy on the eye with his shot making when he gets on. There is a certain flawlessness with his drives and a crispness with his cuts. Add to that his ability to try out some innovative shots as well and you have a player who is potentially terrific in terms of talent , but has not justified that appropriately on many occasions.

    Feel this innings could well change that for him.

    And , yeah keep the cornettos going for the next 9 matches as well. We might just need them again.