December 31, 2013

Outplayed and outdone by Australia

England have been hammered in this series, but that doesn't mean the players and coaches are not good enough anymore
  shares 39

It is probably inevitable that after a tour like this there will be questions asked about our futures and the futures of our captain and coaches. After arriving in Australia full of hope and expectation, we have been badly beaten. There's no getting away from that.

All I can say is that in my ten years of playing for England, we have never had it so good. We have all the information, all the facilities, all the advice and all the encouragement. The coaches can't go out and score hundreds or take wickets. That is up to us as players. We have let our coaches and captain down.

People forget that it is only a year since Alastair Cook led us to victory in India. He showed magnificent leadership on that trip and retains the respect of the whole side. He is a lead-from-the-front captain and although he will be a bit disappointed by his lack of big scores on this trip, we all know what a fine player he is. I thought his batting in the second innings in Melbourne was very good, too.

It is the same with Andy Flower and the coaching staff. These are the same men who led us to No. 1 in the world, the same men who we all praised when we won three Ashes series in a row, when we won in India, even at the end of the England summer. It is not their fault we have played so far below the level of which we are capable. We remain as well a prepared team as any in the world.

Clearly I was as guilty as anyone for my second-innings dismissal in Melbourne. In the last five years I have prided myself on my ability to make runs under pressure and when the team need them most, so to let them down on this occasion was particularly disappointing.

I have to give credit to Nathan Lyon, the bowler. I was trying to drive the ball on the ground through extra cover, but there was more drift than I thought, I didn't quite get to the pitch and ended up spooning it to mid-off. It was the sort of freakish dismissal I have fallen to quite a few times on this odd tour. I still feel in good form. I still feel confident every time I go out to bat.

I passed 1000 Test runs for the year during the game. Michael Clarke was the only other man to achieve that during 2013 and it is a milestone of which I am quite proud. I hope people will remember that a couple of low scores do not suddenly mean you have forgotten how to play the game.

It is just the same with other members of the team. Cook became the youngest man to score 8000 Test runs during the Melbourne Test, James Anderson and Stuart Broad created chances that we failed to take in the field, and Kevin Pietersen is now the fourth-highest Test run scorer in England's history. Players like that deserve to have some credit in the bank.

Defeat in Melbourne hurt us deeply. It reminded me of the Test in Adelaide in 2006-07, when, having fought ourselves into a strong position, we let it slip. It just goes to show how important every session is in Test cricket, I suppose, but it wasn't good enough.

We have to hold our hands up individually and collectively. We were timid in our second innings when we should have taken the game to Australia. It's not good enough at Test level just to defend and allow pressure to build. You have to try and dictate a bit.

Australia seem to have reacted better than us during the back-to-back series. They have learned where to bowl to each of us and they have executed their plans brilliantly. They have been better than us in that regard.

Maybe we are at the start of a new journey. We have to draw a line under the team that won so much over the last five years and accept that this is a new team with several young players. It will take a while for the likes of Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to gain the experience you need at this level, and learning in front of 90,000 people at the MCG is a big ask. In fact, it is as tough an environment as I have experienced. That makes it all the more important that senior players like me step up and help them.

There is no denying the fact that we have sustained a big blow on the chin on this trip. And there's no denying it has hurt. But anyone who is waiting for the tour to finish might as well go now. We are playing for our pride and we are playing for our futures. More importantly, we are playing for our country.

We have to show we still have the desire, the quality and the strength to play at this level. I have every faith in my team-mates and myself. We go to Sydney full of fight and determination.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | January 5, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Come on Bell, you don't have to dig out the Series in India, the ashes prior to this and all that sort of things. Because if you dig out a bit more then you will see those two in your list are the only good things you have to show for umpteenth number of years you know. When you were winning you were making fun of your opponents, weren't you? You should not dish out more than you can take. Don't come out and make excuses like "I made 1000 runs this year, so I should be excused for losing the ashes". "Cook played well in one second innings, so please spare him losing the ashes". One of your team mate decided it would be better to join his brother's new year party rather than being humiliated by Australia. Everything about England Team was pathetic this series and then you come up with stats like 1000 runs in a year, 8000 career runs and all that? Please….

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | January 5, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Bell, your Captain will be removed from the postion. He should consider himself lucky if he is retained in the team as batsman. Your wicketkeeper Prior is not going to play for England anymore. The self proclaimed (or own team mates proclaimed) "best swing bowler in the world" Anderson will be dropped from the Team to try it out in county cricket again. Though KP should be retained in the team, the earlier grudges inside the Team Management may cause him getting dropped as well. Curberry, you, Broad, Stokes are the guys going to be there in the "re-building" team. After giving a "flash in the pan" for a couple of years, England Team has gone back to where it belonged in International cricket over the years. This defeat was no surprise, how you guys won those matches prior to this defeat was the the real surprise.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | January 5, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    "We go to Sydney full of fight and determination"

    Ian Bell: please shed some light on how your above quote explains the result of the 5th test.

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 4, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    @Thegimp.........Hmmmmm you were right.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Bell, please. When you win your failures do not get noticed. Even the small inconsistencies in the team wont show up. You had a good series in the Ashes tour in England. You might have received some good balls but come on man up and accept that you had no clue that the Australians would have been this good. You and your team were expecting a walk in the park and have your bottoms kicked. You are an international cricketer for crying out loud. You are payed to play for your country. you do not play for free. So please keep your excuses to yourself.

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 2, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    I don't think Bell stands a chance at 3. On pitches where he can't just rock onto the front foot and carress the good length ball through coverers, on pitches that aren't doctored to be low, slow dust bowles, on pitches where you can gently rock back onto the back foot and spank and waist high short ball in front of square for four, he won't last ten minutes. The scary thing is, he knows it.

    England's seed was sown last year when they so cleaverly (or so they thought at the time) doctored the pitches to suit Swann and blunt a superior fast bowling unit. At that point they efectively handed the ashes to Australia. A really great team backs themselves to win on any surface under any conditions. A really great team works themselves to the ground not work the ground to themselves.

  • POSTED BY Yorks1 on | January 2, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    Who cares what Bell thinks. He's a very well paid employee not a pundit or journalist. Again self serving comments pandering to the brain's trust and everything. Just get on with the job, show leadership in the field and with your bat. He is not above reproach, does the odd mea culpa etc. ECB needs to shut these people up and have only the Captain or Manager speak. Tiring as with Prior and others.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | January 1, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    Dear Ian, you MUST bat at no.3 for England. The problem is you are hiding down the order when you have the capability to strengthen the batting and the technique to be a formidable no.3 for England in test cricket. I also don't agree with you on Flower's position. I think Andy needs to go. It's his way of management that has brought English cricket to this position. Way too much discipline, solitude, attention to detail, and robotic outlook towards cricket have ruined England as a team. I can clearly understand you and the rest of your team mates are exhausted, tired, and sick of it all. It's also obvious none of you in the England cricket team want to be in Australia any longer. It's time for change and sadly, some senior players have to be axed for the sake of the team's future.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    @Ian Bell: dude, if you really want to start winning again, tell Andy Flower to swallow his gigantic pride and bring back Nick Compton, because old-man-Carberry and diaper-clad-Root will just not cut it. One is a mediocre player and the other is a hyped-up media sensation. Bring back Compton, if he is even half as good as his legendary grandfather, England will be back to winning ways.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Ian Bell, I personally think your captain (Alistair Cook) is a very good and cool bloke. But, love me or hate me for saying this, but I got to agree with Mr. Shane Warne: "Your captain lacks a good, sound & active imagination, and is very conservative in his game-plans."

    Michael Clarke scores heavily over Alistair Cook in the sense that he tries different things in difficult match situations, asks questions of the opposition, and forces them into making errors. And, he's just as good as Cook, even from the individual performance point of view, which lifts his side even further.

    I think chaps like you have to assist Cook a lot more in his captaincy, and groom a person such as Joe Root to be a future England captain. I believe that Joe Root has good leadership potential, and can be very cool, composed, and witty, even in high pressure situations.

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | January 5, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Come on Bell, you don't have to dig out the Series in India, the ashes prior to this and all that sort of things. Because if you dig out a bit more then you will see those two in your list are the only good things you have to show for umpteenth number of years you know. When you were winning you were making fun of your opponents, weren't you? You should not dish out more than you can take. Don't come out and make excuses like "I made 1000 runs this year, so I should be excused for losing the ashes". "Cook played well in one second innings, so please spare him losing the ashes". One of your team mate decided it would be better to join his brother's new year party rather than being humiliated by Australia. Everything about England Team was pathetic this series and then you come up with stats like 1000 runs in a year, 8000 career runs and all that? Please….

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | January 5, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Bell, your Captain will be removed from the postion. He should consider himself lucky if he is retained in the team as batsman. Your wicketkeeper Prior is not going to play for England anymore. The self proclaimed (or own team mates proclaimed) "best swing bowler in the world" Anderson will be dropped from the Team to try it out in county cricket again. Though KP should be retained in the team, the earlier grudges inside the Team Management may cause him getting dropped as well. Curberry, you, Broad, Stokes are the guys going to be there in the "re-building" team. After giving a "flash in the pan" for a couple of years, England Team has gone back to where it belonged in International cricket over the years. This defeat was no surprise, how you guys won those matches prior to this defeat was the the real surprise.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | January 5, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    "We go to Sydney full of fight and determination"

    Ian Bell: please shed some light on how your above quote explains the result of the 5th test.

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 4, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    @Thegimp.........Hmmmmm you were right.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Bell, please. When you win your failures do not get noticed. Even the small inconsistencies in the team wont show up. You had a good series in the Ashes tour in England. You might have received some good balls but come on man up and accept that you had no clue that the Australians would have been this good. You and your team were expecting a walk in the park and have your bottoms kicked. You are an international cricketer for crying out loud. You are payed to play for your country. you do not play for free. So please keep your excuses to yourself.

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 2, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    I don't think Bell stands a chance at 3. On pitches where he can't just rock onto the front foot and carress the good length ball through coverers, on pitches that aren't doctored to be low, slow dust bowles, on pitches where you can gently rock back onto the back foot and spank and waist high short ball in front of square for four, he won't last ten minutes. The scary thing is, he knows it.

    England's seed was sown last year when they so cleaverly (or so they thought at the time) doctored the pitches to suit Swann and blunt a superior fast bowling unit. At that point they efectively handed the ashes to Australia. A really great team backs themselves to win on any surface under any conditions. A really great team works themselves to the ground not work the ground to themselves.

  • POSTED BY Yorks1 on | January 2, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    Who cares what Bell thinks. He's a very well paid employee not a pundit or journalist. Again self serving comments pandering to the brain's trust and everything. Just get on with the job, show leadership in the field and with your bat. He is not above reproach, does the odd mea culpa etc. ECB needs to shut these people up and have only the Captain or Manager speak. Tiring as with Prior and others.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | January 1, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    Dear Ian, you MUST bat at no.3 for England. The problem is you are hiding down the order when you have the capability to strengthen the batting and the technique to be a formidable no.3 for England in test cricket. I also don't agree with you on Flower's position. I think Andy needs to go. It's his way of management that has brought English cricket to this position. Way too much discipline, solitude, attention to detail, and robotic outlook towards cricket have ruined England as a team. I can clearly understand you and the rest of your team mates are exhausted, tired, and sick of it all. It's also obvious none of you in the England cricket team want to be in Australia any longer. It's time for change and sadly, some senior players have to be axed for the sake of the team's future.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    @Ian Bell: dude, if you really want to start winning again, tell Andy Flower to swallow his gigantic pride and bring back Nick Compton, because old-man-Carberry and diaper-clad-Root will just not cut it. One is a mediocre player and the other is a hyped-up media sensation. Bring back Compton, if he is even half as good as his legendary grandfather, England will be back to winning ways.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Ian Bell, I personally think your captain (Alistair Cook) is a very good and cool bloke. But, love me or hate me for saying this, but I got to agree with Mr. Shane Warne: "Your captain lacks a good, sound & active imagination, and is very conservative in his game-plans."

    Michael Clarke scores heavily over Alistair Cook in the sense that he tries different things in difficult match situations, asks questions of the opposition, and forces them into making errors. And, he's just as good as Cook, even from the individual performance point of view, which lifts his side even further.

    I think chaps like you have to assist Cook a lot more in his captaincy, and groom a person such as Joe Root to be a future England captain. I believe that Joe Root has good leadership potential, and can be very cool, composed, and witty, even in high pressure situations.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 1, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    I agree with Bell that he hasn't really seemed out of form on this tour. He's looked good when he's got going but he has found ways to get out, which he's been criticised of in the past. He was England's saviour several times in the previous Ashes and has found himself in similar positions or worse a number of times on this tour too. We shouldn't underestimate the pressure that that imposes and overcoming that pressure again and again is much harder away from home.

    As for the coaching staff, they have indeed done a good job in the past but that doesn't necessarily mean that that same staff is right for this current team. Obviously things have changed so the coaching staff needs to change their approach accordingly. They don't necessarily need to change everything but adjustments at least are essential.

    Root is obviously talented but has been exposed outside off stump on the front foot. He needs to work like crazy on that and, in the meantime, Bell needs to bat at #3.

  • POSTED BY sguha12 on | January 1, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    Ian Bell has to go in at number 3. Of all the England batsmen, he has looked the best so far in this series. Unfortunately coming in at number 5 isn't helping the cause for England. Michael Carberry and Joe Root manage to get themselves into a hole and that really has an effect on the scoring rate as well as the batsmen to follow. Root has got a bright future ahead of him but Bell is still the best bet for England at number 3. England should try and experiment with a few changes for the Sydney test.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    I commend you Belly, having written you off 6 months back as a player who couldn't make the tough runs, you proved me wrong. But I think you are wrong about the coaching/captaincy. They are stuck in a rut. The persistence with Root at 3 as well as the reluctance to play wicket takers like Finn instead of dot ball bowlers like Bres just shows the negative mindset which pervades the England camp completely. Perhaps more than anywhere you see it in the batting of KP, a guy that should never be looking to bat time before making runs. He should be at no.3 as he is without question the most dangerous man in the English camp. I would also say that Anderson is a big problem in these conditions, you can hardly leave him out of the team because he has such a solid record and then really you have two more bowlers in Bres and Stokes bowling a similar trajectory it becomes pretty easy for the batsmen. Finn for mine should have been in the team for every test.... tbc

  • POSTED BY Protears on | December 31, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    This series has left a very big hole in English cricket but also opportunities for me England have never replaced Andrew Strauss as a dependable opener with Cook and the effects are there to be seen with England playing new openers every series. Neither Carberry nor Compton really strike a fancy but of the two Carberry looks better despite not really showing anything yet.

    Jonathan Trott should be discarded unless he can prove his willingness to tour again, if not bye bye as you cannot carry an occassional player. This means that Ian Bell should move to 3 or 4 preferably 4 with Root and Bairstow around him, that also means Kevin Pietersen is a concern, his form is poor and his attitude is very bad for a team needing rebuilding. I think there are some nice younger options but the big position move is to get Bell away from wasting away at 5th.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | December 31, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    I feel there is more to it than meets the eye. There seems to be a problem in the dressing room, and from Swann's comments after he announced his retirement, there is certainly something amiss. I am not saying that the Australians are not performing well, on the contrary, they are brilliant, but England would have competed slightly better if all was well on the home front. Maybe it is time for a change, and I agree with some who feel that Cook may not be as aggressive a Captain as he should be. He is OK as long as the team is performing which they were over the past few years, but whenever there is a crisis, he has not shown the temerity to overcome it. I remember, Warne saying before the tour started, that Cook need to be more pro-active, and aggressive, if England are to succeed in this series, and how right he has been proved. But, now that all these changes are taking place, maybe it is good for the youngsters coming in......gives them a chance to show their mettle.

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | December 31, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Bell has been tried, tried and tried again at three and has failed failed and failed again at three. If he gets shoved back to three, a position it is well known he camt play, he will become a passenger.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    @geoffboyc - Last season Moeen scored over 1,300 runs at over 60. His overall career average is 37....

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 31, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Robert Key, captain England

  • POSTED BY jimmyvida on | December 31, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Sorry for Root. What are they trying to do to/with this guy. Cook's attacking start leads to one thing and that is a short and sweet inning. You just feel it. Is this the Cook we've come to know? What caused Trott to leave? And, then Swann. What's going on? I guess, we'' find out in a few years time. Looking at things realistically, Australia's batting is just hanging in there. They may not be so lucky in SA provided the wickets are batting friendly, something I certainly expect.

  • POSTED BY on | December 31, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    perhaps there are TOO MANY backroom staff !!!

  • POSTED BY SollyOlly on | December 31, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    This sounds like the same old platitudes to me. And as for Cook 'leading' the team to victory in India, yes, England won, and yes, England deserved to win. But - and this is the key point - what was Cook's captaincy 'masterstroke' to turn the series around? Nothing. He 'just' captained the team that won, rather than led them to victory, in much the same way as Ricky Ponting was at the helm during the Aus glory years. Being 'in charge' and 'leading' are two very different things...mark my words, Cook is not leadership material.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | December 31, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    Ian Bell has to be commended on his honesty. And I'd like to think he was right in his view that '..we have never had it so good'. But just because every angle, every deficiency, whether technical, physical or psychological, has been covered by the expertise & dedication of the coaching & backroom staff, it hasn't added up to anything more than four humiliating back-to-back defeats. There is an irony in all of this: everything is absolutely in place, but the still the car won't go; it splutters & dies every time. So, things aren't right - not at all, Ian. It's as if diesel has been put in the tank when it's designed for unleaded. So, what, in reality, has changed? Trott & now Swann have left, but both had reached a point where their effectiveness was minimal. And the rest of the spine? Nowhere near as productive as was. Worked out by a smart Aussie outfit that's laughing, having fun, kicking the Poms round Australia. And there's the clue. Eng has no laughter left. Too earnest by half.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 31, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    How different is it facing a ball delivered at 92mph as opposed to one delivered at 88mph? For the middle and lower order that seems to be the critical factor. Does the fact of a bowler being left arm really affect a Test player? Those seem to be two of the main points of this series. A side full of talent like England still needs that extra x factor to function. Is this just the chemistry of the team, which seemed to fly away before the 1st Test. And how shocking is it to do discover that your teammate Trott has gone home? Very I would suggest. When Tres came home we lost 5-0 then. I guess it just works away at everyone. Then Swann retiring...One hopes for no more nasty surprises. I guess the only thing they can do is pull together now. I would say Bell has to go 3 now. Also give Borthwick a twirl. It cannot get worse.

  • POSTED BY geoffboyc on | December 31, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    I agree Bell should bat higher but he still didn't explain why he needed to drive at that first ball from Lyon at all. His main priority, having seen two quick wickets fall should have been to survive that over and form a plan with Pieterson who was just beginning to move forward. A cheap but very costly wicket. Suggestions for team changes highlight the problem selectors face though; Moen's name keeps cropping up and he's not a bad player, but last season he averaged 37 with the bat as opposed, for example to James Taylor's 47. So what does the poor selector do; look at the averages or try to divine which individual will make a better Test cricketer than those already in the squad?

  • POSTED BY Robert1612 on | December 31, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Unfortunately for Ian bell this is NOT the same England side that were so good over the last 2-3 years: Trott leaving after the 1st test has significantly weakened the batting stability; un-doctored pitches have brought Swann back to the pack and in Australian conditions Anderson can't swing/seam the ball. Suddenly their attack struggles, batting is insecure against Johnson and Aussie batting showing (finally) some stability. By taking Trott, Swann and Prior out of the team the whole dynamic changes. The new opening partnership has yet to prove it's worth. In fact Bell (last ashes) and Cook (2010/2011) had statistically freakish series that were unlikely to be repeated. To paraphrase our suddenly missing correspondent, @FFL why is Bell, England's best batsman hiding at 5 instead of shouldering the responsibility of controlling the innings at no 3? Add to this Australia playing with confidence and at home, and it seemed unlikely after the Gabba that England would retain the ashes.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 31, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    It's true, this English team have the same players that have enjoyed success. Likewise, the Australian team is mainly the same one that has been beaten soundly by England 4 years ago. So what has changed? Firstly, Brad Haddin's determination to succeed in this series after his time out from the game due to family illness cannot be underestimated. Secondly, Mitchell Johnson has been the main reason why Australia has dominated. He has done this in two ways. One, he has been able to make the ball lift off a length to the top six batsmen. This has led to more lbws and bowled dismissals due to the difficulty in judging length. Second, he has decimated the tailenders, who are very capable front-foot batsmen, with sustained accurate short-pitched bowling. Take heart Ian, if Mitchell can sustain this type of bowling for the next few months, you'll find some very capable South Africans struggling to get scores too.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | December 31, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    The problem with England is that they seem mentally shot/drained for some reason or another. I guess winning the Ashes at home and having little time to let it sink in and then another one around the corner took some toll on the motivation of the team. However, Australia played some good cricket and seem to be progressing nicely although their batting still needs a fair bit of work.

  • POSTED BY Neverwas on | December 31, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    The comment about defending and allowing pressure to build seems strongly directed at Carberry. While Carberry's stats are OK perhaps the partnership chemistry with Cook needs looking at. Chemistry seems important (eg Watson+Warner doesn't seem to work very well but Rogers seems to add an X-factor in partnership with both). Is there any way Cook could bat at 3?

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | December 31, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    The guys in the press box have been sitting around watching cricket too long. They praise you as World class champions or abject failures. The pundits can tell you everything about the most recent games and loads about the distant past but they seem to forget last series, last year, the year before that etc.

    The press (cricinfo included) are the real disappointment.

  • POSTED BY cricketcricket1987 on | December 31, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Englands most gifted batsman is wasted at No.5 and he should really push his case to be Englands No.3 for the next 3-5 years. He is technically one of the best players in the world and is now mentally tough. Root is without a doubt an exciting talent and is going to be in the England team for years to come, so in my opinion let him open the batting with Cook. A top 4 of Cook, Root, Bell, Pietersen is a mighty fine top 4. The areas for concern now is the No.5 position, WK and bowling line up. For me, Ballance or Ali should be given a chance in future tests and Prior should come back in as WK. England must also move away from Bresnan. A lot of focus must be given to Finn to get him back to his best.

    Cook, Root, Bell, Pietersen, Moeen Ali/Ballance/Morgan, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Anderson, Finn, Panesar.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | December 31, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Quite simply, it is the natural order of things being restored. Australia beat England at cricket. Sometimes, England go through a good patch for a couple of years, but soon everything goes back to normal. Stop pretending you have any control over nature, you may as well try and control the moon.

  • POSTED BY Ali_Chaudhary on | December 31, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    I think in this Situation Cook Need to come out and speek. He is hiding. But glad to see you being very positive. Full marks for at least coming out and communcating to your fans. Well done.

  • POSTED BY ModernUmpiresPlz on | December 31, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Kick up a stink and claim your spot at #3 Bell. At this point I'm not even convinced Root belongs anywhere in the team with Stokes at #6. Kid can't trouble the scorers off decent bowling, and if he tries he just waves his bat lazily outside off stump, not to mention that he seems to be capable of making every English innings look absolutely terrible. Barely surviving and succeeding are not the same thing.

    I'm a big fan of how Bell goes about it and he's absolutely right, a couple of failures don't make someone a bad batsman. Even in his failures he is looking to counterattack because by then Root has already sunk England into a deep swamp every time I can think of. I think he would be better served at the top of the order coming in against pace early in the innings, than in the middle order coming in against a spinner with his tail up getting dip and drift on an up and down wicket. Once KP/Bell/Cook are in Root can come in and survive so they don't run out of partners. Problem solved.

  • POSTED BY Bonnie1976 on | December 31, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    When England beat India 4-0 in England this is what happened. HUMPTY DUMPTY (England) sat on a wall ( No1), Humpty dumpty had a great fall. All the Queens's horses ( coach and support staff) and all the Queen's men ( Team) couldn't put humpty together again. Pride does lead to a big and nasty fall.

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | December 31, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Yeah, sensible if somewhat light commentary and most of all an admirable lack of spurious excuses. For me, this underlines the thought that Bell could be a better captain than Cook. I hear he captains in domestic cricket and does a decent job. As much as Cook seems a nice guy, and you certainly wouldn't drop him from the team, his captaincy has been frankly pathetic.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | December 31, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Good comments by Bell. He's taken it like a man and I couldn't find even a hint of an excuse in there.

    I was wondering if there's any particular reason Cook couldn't bat at 3. It might sound crazy but #3 is a great spot to dictate the course of the innings from if you're good enough. An ideal 3 should be capable of shutting up shop if the bowling is good and making early inroads but they also need to be able to press the accelerator when that's needed. Poor young Joe has his problems with the latter but Cook can motor if he's in the mood. .. Carberry looks Ok for the moment so that would mean finding another opener. I realise that's a hell of a lot easier said than done, especially finding someone anywhere near Cooks class, but if it was doable I wonder if it would be worth a try. You could then leave KP and Bell in their current slots. Just a thought.

  • POSTED BY I_Say_Auld_Boy on | December 31, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    If you don't take enough catches or make enough runs, test cricket is simply a game of creeping inevitability. However, a team often looks worse than it is when it loses, and better than it is when it's winning. Both Ashes series this year have demonstrated that, although Australia performed better in England than England has performed in Australia so far... At least in Melbourne, England fought into a position to have the opportunity to win. Australia shut them out again though.

  • POSTED BY CoverDrive88 on | December 31, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    I agree with him that there is no reason to call for the scalps of Cook, Pietersen, Anderson, Broad and himself, although Cook and Pietersen would not need a third average or worse series in a row. However, Cook as captain has to be queried. People are saying that he has a good record. I suggest the team has a good record. It's the same as for Ponting. On paper he has an excellent record as captain, but the reality was he had just two decisions to make for most of his career - when to take Warne off and when to take McGrath off. As soon as people retired and the pressure came on, he looked pretty ordinary, as Cook is now. Similarly, the look of the team seems very similar to Australia under Mickey Arthur - too regimented, too much attention to details that don't really matter much e.g. homework suspensions, skinfolds, weight-training. Now Boof has opted for disciplined enjoyment of the game (as against "scientific" micro management), it looks like people are enjoying themselves

  • POSTED BY Kolpak1989 on | December 31, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Very mature comments from Bell. Class players like Cook, KP, Anderson and Bell don't become bad players overnight. Australia came into this series with a settled team, hunger, and good plans that they have executed well. I don't think Bell is correct in saying that the backroom staff aren't at all responsible for the on field performance, they are. But he is right that wholesale changes to captain and coaching staff is not warranted or desirable. Consistency is key for England from here. In Cook, KP, Bell, Anderson and Prior they have a good core of senior players to build a team around. Carberry has shown that he has the ability at the top of the order, and I think he will make big runs if persevered with. Root is a very talented youngster but I think they have made a mistake in batting him at 3. He is getting bogged down and his lack of scoring eventually leads to him playing a get-out shot or taking a risky single and losing his wicket. Bell himself is the logical man to bat at 3.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Kolpak1989 on | December 31, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Very mature comments from Bell. Class players like Cook, KP, Anderson and Bell don't become bad players overnight. Australia came into this series with a settled team, hunger, and good plans that they have executed well. I don't think Bell is correct in saying that the backroom staff aren't at all responsible for the on field performance, they are. But he is right that wholesale changes to captain and coaching staff is not warranted or desirable. Consistency is key for England from here. In Cook, KP, Bell, Anderson and Prior they have a good core of senior players to build a team around. Carberry has shown that he has the ability at the top of the order, and I think he will make big runs if persevered with. Root is a very talented youngster but I think they have made a mistake in batting him at 3. He is getting bogged down and his lack of scoring eventually leads to him playing a get-out shot or taking a risky single and losing his wicket. Bell himself is the logical man to bat at 3.

  • POSTED BY CoverDrive88 on | December 31, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    I agree with him that there is no reason to call for the scalps of Cook, Pietersen, Anderson, Broad and himself, although Cook and Pietersen would not need a third average or worse series in a row. However, Cook as captain has to be queried. People are saying that he has a good record. I suggest the team has a good record. It's the same as for Ponting. On paper he has an excellent record as captain, but the reality was he had just two decisions to make for most of his career - when to take Warne off and when to take McGrath off. As soon as people retired and the pressure came on, he looked pretty ordinary, as Cook is now. Similarly, the look of the team seems very similar to Australia under Mickey Arthur - too regimented, too much attention to details that don't really matter much e.g. homework suspensions, skinfolds, weight-training. Now Boof has opted for disciplined enjoyment of the game (as against "scientific" micro management), it looks like people are enjoying themselves

  • POSTED BY I_Say_Auld_Boy on | December 31, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    If you don't take enough catches or make enough runs, test cricket is simply a game of creeping inevitability. However, a team often looks worse than it is when it loses, and better than it is when it's winning. Both Ashes series this year have demonstrated that, although Australia performed better in England than England has performed in Australia so far... At least in Melbourne, England fought into a position to have the opportunity to win. Australia shut them out again though.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | December 31, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Good comments by Bell. He's taken it like a man and I couldn't find even a hint of an excuse in there.

    I was wondering if there's any particular reason Cook couldn't bat at 3. It might sound crazy but #3 is a great spot to dictate the course of the innings from if you're good enough. An ideal 3 should be capable of shutting up shop if the bowling is good and making early inroads but they also need to be able to press the accelerator when that's needed. Poor young Joe has his problems with the latter but Cook can motor if he's in the mood. .. Carberry looks Ok for the moment so that would mean finding another opener. I realise that's a hell of a lot easier said than done, especially finding someone anywhere near Cooks class, but if it was doable I wonder if it would be worth a try. You could then leave KP and Bell in their current slots. Just a thought.

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | December 31, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Yeah, sensible if somewhat light commentary and most of all an admirable lack of spurious excuses. For me, this underlines the thought that Bell could be a better captain than Cook. I hear he captains in domestic cricket and does a decent job. As much as Cook seems a nice guy, and you certainly wouldn't drop him from the team, his captaincy has been frankly pathetic.

  • POSTED BY Bonnie1976 on | December 31, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    When England beat India 4-0 in England this is what happened. HUMPTY DUMPTY (England) sat on a wall ( No1), Humpty dumpty had a great fall. All the Queens's horses ( coach and support staff) and all the Queen's men ( Team) couldn't put humpty together again. Pride does lead to a big and nasty fall.

  • POSTED BY ModernUmpiresPlz on | December 31, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Kick up a stink and claim your spot at #3 Bell. At this point I'm not even convinced Root belongs anywhere in the team with Stokes at #6. Kid can't trouble the scorers off decent bowling, and if he tries he just waves his bat lazily outside off stump, not to mention that he seems to be capable of making every English innings look absolutely terrible. Barely surviving and succeeding are not the same thing.

    I'm a big fan of how Bell goes about it and he's absolutely right, a couple of failures don't make someone a bad batsman. Even in his failures he is looking to counterattack because by then Root has already sunk England into a deep swamp every time I can think of. I think he would be better served at the top of the order coming in against pace early in the innings, than in the middle order coming in against a spinner with his tail up getting dip and drift on an up and down wicket. Once KP/Bell/Cook are in Root can come in and survive so they don't run out of partners. Problem solved.

  • POSTED BY Ali_Chaudhary on | December 31, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    I think in this Situation Cook Need to come out and speek. He is hiding. But glad to see you being very positive. Full marks for at least coming out and communcating to your fans. Well done.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | December 31, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Quite simply, it is the natural order of things being restored. Australia beat England at cricket. Sometimes, England go through a good patch for a couple of years, but soon everything goes back to normal. Stop pretending you have any control over nature, you may as well try and control the moon.

  • POSTED BY cricketcricket1987 on | December 31, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Englands most gifted batsman is wasted at No.5 and he should really push his case to be Englands No.3 for the next 3-5 years. He is technically one of the best players in the world and is now mentally tough. Root is without a doubt an exciting talent and is going to be in the England team for years to come, so in my opinion let him open the batting with Cook. A top 4 of Cook, Root, Bell, Pietersen is a mighty fine top 4. The areas for concern now is the No.5 position, WK and bowling line up. For me, Ballance or Ali should be given a chance in future tests and Prior should come back in as WK. England must also move away from Bresnan. A lot of focus must be given to Finn to get him back to his best.

    Cook, Root, Bell, Pietersen, Moeen Ali/Ballance/Morgan, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Anderson, Finn, Panesar.