Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day December 7, 2013

England performance 'not good enough' - Bell

16

Ian Bell could hardly hide his frustration after seeing his England team-mates deliver another batting performance of striking incompetence.

Bell was one of only three England players to reach double-figures as they were brushed aside for 172 in their first innings in Adelaide and afterwards admitted the performance was "just not good enough".

Bell finished unbeaten on 72, but could do little to stop England conceding a first-innings deficit of 398 runs. By the end of the day, Australia had extended their lead to 530 and have an excellent chance over the final two days of extending their series lead to 2-0 with three to play. England, whose top score in the series so far is 179, will probably have to bat for five sessions to save the game.

"We can't afford to be bowled out for under 200," Bell said. "You're not going to win anything like that. There are no excuses; it's just not good enough. It's another disappointing performance. There's no getting away from it, we haven't played very well. We've got to improve and improve fast."

While Bell played Mitchell Johnson with something approaching ease, his colleagues struggled. The fast bowler finished with figures of 7 for 40 with several England batsmen, especially in the lower order, looking far from comfortable when confronted with his hostility.

"When you're playing pace, you have to have serious courage," Bell said. "We have to make sure that's the first thing we have. When someone bowls at 150kph, you have to be switched on every ball. Am I scared? No, not at all scared. I can't speak for everyone, but no."

Despite the poor start to the series, Bell remained confident that the team were capable of saving the game and clawing their way back into the series. Earlier this year, England resisted for 143 overs in Auckland to save a Test against New Zealand and a year ago, they came from 1-0 down to defeat India in India.

"You've seen what this team has done in the past," he said. "These games are saveable but someone is going to have to play an incredible innings. If you want to bat for a day, this is the ground to do it.

"But what we've done in the last three innings isn't going to get us close. So someone - or probably two or three guys - have to step up. It's a challenge but that leads to opportunity and we have to take it."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ShutTheGate on December 7, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    "You've seen what this team has done in the past," well I think this is the whole reason for the English decline. They keep propping themselves up on past glory. This is in contrast to Boof and the Australians talk where they were always talking about improvement.

    Credit to Bell though for a great innings from him. His batting was fantastic to watch. They should bat him at number 3 so that he has enough batting partners.

  • strikeforce2003 on December 7, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    England will apply themselves, this 2nd test will head for a draw.. Watch out for the top 5 and the tail doing it... OZ's will feel why they did not extend the follow-on, big mistake

  • valvolux on December 7, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Would be interesting to see how bell goes at 3. I think england just need to take that chance. They need to get 2 senior batsmen at the crease at the same time. Doesn't help with cook and kp out of sorts though. Bell made it look easy - but the curse of moving up the order to shore up a failing top order has destroyed the output of batsmen far better than Bell. Clarke was one of them, but now seems more settled at 4. Carbs looks a very good opener....but as was seen in the first innings of both tests, when others are falling around him and he's suddenly in the position of the "in" batsman with responsibility of driving the innings...he freezes up then gets out. In brissie he was on 49? for about an hour....got out...then here...4 straight maidens...out, set batsman gone.

  • milepost on December 7, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Look if Bell was up the order it would give England a chance. It's not impossible to save the match, there's even a few spots of rain forecast but England really need a win and that isn't going to happen, Clarke won't allow it. I suspect they will throw the bat for an hour, try to get a 600+ lead and then leave 5 and a half sessions for England to try and save the match. The way Mitch dispenses the tail so easily (from 6 down), it means some huge huge scores from the top order. Bell is still a scary proposition, he is the best batman in the side, he's in good nick and he's great to watch but it's not enough without some support. Australia have been so dominant, I don't believe even seasoned professionals could not have had their confidence destroyed.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 7, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Every man wants a Jonno tache! yes please! I am growing one at the mo

  • BradmanBestEver on December 7, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    The English performance was "just not good enough" because the team is "just not good enough"...

  • chitti_cricket on December 7, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Trot J's vacuum is creating panic in England's camp. If he gave even slightest hint of he was not fit enough to play entire series he should not have been brought here. England should learn to make changes and depend on their backups if need be instead of persuading the same old failed players and policies. For long England depended on formulas, processes and methods. They never showed any spur of the moment and innovation and were boring even when they were winning. Now they are losing and giving entire world some kind of stick to beat them. By all standards this display of batting is substandard and has to improve. If not please be prepared for 2006-7 Ashes repeat.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 7, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket Actually there were quite a few English innings' that were saved by Bell, and only Bell, in the last Ashes series. I was truly shocked and appalled that Bell didn't bat at 3. I'm an Australian and I support my team, but I wanted to see a contest. As soon as Joe Root walked out after Cook was clean bowled my heart sank.

    Imagine if Bell did bat at 3, and Carberry makes 60. Bell probably scores 80-100 in that time (as opposed to Root scoring 15 off 80), given that he has a much wider scope for scoring runs and is simply a better batsman than Carberry, as well as taking the pressure off him. Suddenly England are 1/150+, with KP walking out next. Who cares if the batting order is Root, Stokes, Prior in a row further down the order.

    Bell literally gets 1 proper batting partner with the first innings order, in this case it was Carberry. As soon as Warner took that gem of a catch the writing was on the wall.

  • IAS2009 on December 7, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    if Cook din't play like he usually does England could loose 5-0, the tail is too long, if top order dont' do good the last 5 wickets dont even give you 50 runs, after Trott departure England does not look same again. Key players are out of form and Swann has been handled very well by Aussies, Johnson is bowling well but many wickets were given away by England to poor shots KP played a horrible shot when two men placed there and he fall for it. to be bundled for 172 on this pitch is simply not good enough by any standard. Aussies can feel the Ashes coming to them. This is the best pitch England would get on this tour and they did so bad, the signs are not good For England.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on December 7, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    England in last few months felt like can do no wrong, Their batters scored at ease and bowlers got wickets at will..Fast forward today their batters hardly score 200 and bowlers conceive 400+. On the other hand, Australia lost 4-0 to india when their batters could hardly cross 200 and bowlers gave away 400+ runs every match seem like the world beaters again. Truth is, both teams next to ordinary outside their country and comfort zone.

  • ShutTheGate on December 7, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    "You've seen what this team has done in the past," well I think this is the whole reason for the English decline. They keep propping themselves up on past glory. This is in contrast to Boof and the Australians talk where they were always talking about improvement.

    Credit to Bell though for a great innings from him. His batting was fantastic to watch. They should bat him at number 3 so that he has enough batting partners.

  • strikeforce2003 on December 7, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    England will apply themselves, this 2nd test will head for a draw.. Watch out for the top 5 and the tail doing it... OZ's will feel why they did not extend the follow-on, big mistake

  • valvolux on December 7, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Would be interesting to see how bell goes at 3. I think england just need to take that chance. They need to get 2 senior batsmen at the crease at the same time. Doesn't help with cook and kp out of sorts though. Bell made it look easy - but the curse of moving up the order to shore up a failing top order has destroyed the output of batsmen far better than Bell. Clarke was one of them, but now seems more settled at 4. Carbs looks a very good opener....but as was seen in the first innings of both tests, when others are falling around him and he's suddenly in the position of the "in" batsman with responsibility of driving the innings...he freezes up then gets out. In brissie he was on 49? for about an hour....got out...then here...4 straight maidens...out, set batsman gone.

  • milepost on December 7, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Look if Bell was up the order it would give England a chance. It's not impossible to save the match, there's even a few spots of rain forecast but England really need a win and that isn't going to happen, Clarke won't allow it. I suspect they will throw the bat for an hour, try to get a 600+ lead and then leave 5 and a half sessions for England to try and save the match. The way Mitch dispenses the tail so easily (from 6 down), it means some huge huge scores from the top order. Bell is still a scary proposition, he is the best batman in the side, he's in good nick and he's great to watch but it's not enough without some support. Australia have been so dominant, I don't believe even seasoned professionals could not have had their confidence destroyed.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 7, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Every man wants a Jonno tache! yes please! I am growing one at the mo

  • BradmanBestEver on December 7, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    The English performance was "just not good enough" because the team is "just not good enough"...

  • chitti_cricket on December 7, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Trot J's vacuum is creating panic in England's camp. If he gave even slightest hint of he was not fit enough to play entire series he should not have been brought here. England should learn to make changes and depend on their backups if need be instead of persuading the same old failed players and policies. For long England depended on formulas, processes and methods. They never showed any spur of the moment and innovation and were boring even when they were winning. Now they are losing and giving entire world some kind of stick to beat them. By all standards this display of batting is substandard and has to improve. If not please be prepared for 2006-7 Ashes repeat.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 7, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket Actually there were quite a few English innings' that were saved by Bell, and only Bell, in the last Ashes series. I was truly shocked and appalled that Bell didn't bat at 3. I'm an Australian and I support my team, but I wanted to see a contest. As soon as Joe Root walked out after Cook was clean bowled my heart sank.

    Imagine if Bell did bat at 3, and Carberry makes 60. Bell probably scores 80-100 in that time (as opposed to Root scoring 15 off 80), given that he has a much wider scope for scoring runs and is simply a better batsman than Carberry, as well as taking the pressure off him. Suddenly England are 1/150+, with KP walking out next. Who cares if the batting order is Root, Stokes, Prior in a row further down the order.

    Bell literally gets 1 proper batting partner with the first innings order, in this case it was Carberry. As soon as Warner took that gem of a catch the writing was on the wall.

  • IAS2009 on December 7, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    if Cook din't play like he usually does England could loose 5-0, the tail is too long, if top order dont' do good the last 5 wickets dont even give you 50 runs, after Trott departure England does not look same again. Key players are out of form and Swann has been handled very well by Aussies, Johnson is bowling well but many wickets were given away by England to poor shots KP played a horrible shot when two men placed there and he fall for it. to be bundled for 172 on this pitch is simply not good enough by any standard. Aussies can feel the Ashes coming to them. This is the best pitch England would get on this tour and they did so bad, the signs are not good For England.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on December 7, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    England in last few months felt like can do no wrong, Their batters scored at ease and bowlers got wickets at will..Fast forward today their batters hardly score 200 and bowlers conceive 400+. On the other hand, Australia lost 4-0 to india when their batters could hardly cross 200 and bowlers gave away 400+ runs every match seem like the world beaters again. Truth is, both teams next to ordinary outside their country and comfort zone.

  • Jonah58 on December 7, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Have to agree with Bell, if just a couple of others had shown the same courage as Monty and hung around with him for a while the deficit would be nowhere near as big.

    Root played a silly shot 1st ball from Lyons but had withstood the pace till then, Carberry justified his place with a fighting knock. but 7 other England 'batsmen' need to take a long hard look at them selves in the mirror.

  • milepost on December 7, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    He's such a good batsman Bell, this must frustrate him.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 7, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    I feel genuinely bad for Ian Bell. Based on the quotes of his from another article, it looked to me like he was saying "Number 3 should be mine, why would you put Joe Root there instead of me? Are you serious?"

    And rightly so. I was worried about him before the start of the series, and only him. KP might get you one big score, but Bell is a class act. If someone can hang around with him he will score runs, the only thing to fear from Cook is that he can hang around with Bell for 2 days. It's always hard to see a way to get him out without some assistance off the pitch. Technically he is close to as good as it gets, against spin or fast bowling, as he showed today without any shadow of a doubt. He got done by the extra bounce at the Gabba but it was the first test of the series, and I don't expect him to falter to the extra bounce in Perth. I can't say I feel the same about the guys he has to bat with.

    Which begs the question - What the hell were England thinking leaving him at 5?

  • on December 7, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Bell is correct in that this is saveable. I don't see England having it in themselves to prove that point, especially at Adelaide. This ground tends to produce results (despite the frustration last year) and I think it will produce one this match. It is saveable but if Australia bowl well it is already 2-0.

  • CrICkeeet on December 7, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    Not good enough...??? well, mayb we have 2 define the "good" word newly... anyway, johnson rockz with his ball as well as his mustache also :) he looks awesome in new style

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on December 7, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    impossible to save this match. If, they need to resist No less than 175 overs for eng to save this match. Sure 2-0.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on December 7, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    impossible to save this match. If, they need to resist No less than 175 overs for eng to save this match. Sure 2-0.

  • CrICkeeet on December 7, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    Not good enough...??? well, mayb we have 2 define the "good" word newly... anyway, johnson rockz with his ball as well as his mustache also :) he looks awesome in new style

  • on December 7, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Bell is correct in that this is saveable. I don't see England having it in themselves to prove that point, especially at Adelaide. This ground tends to produce results (despite the frustration last year) and I think it will produce one this match. It is saveable but if Australia bowl well it is already 2-0.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 7, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    I feel genuinely bad for Ian Bell. Based on the quotes of his from another article, it looked to me like he was saying "Number 3 should be mine, why would you put Joe Root there instead of me? Are you serious?"

    And rightly so. I was worried about him before the start of the series, and only him. KP might get you one big score, but Bell is a class act. If someone can hang around with him he will score runs, the only thing to fear from Cook is that he can hang around with Bell for 2 days. It's always hard to see a way to get him out without some assistance off the pitch. Technically he is close to as good as it gets, against spin or fast bowling, as he showed today without any shadow of a doubt. He got done by the extra bounce at the Gabba but it was the first test of the series, and I don't expect him to falter to the extra bounce in Perth. I can't say I feel the same about the guys he has to bat with.

    Which begs the question - What the hell were England thinking leaving him at 5?

  • milepost on December 7, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    He's such a good batsman Bell, this must frustrate him.

  • Jonah58 on December 7, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Have to agree with Bell, if just a couple of others had shown the same courage as Monty and hung around with him for a while the deficit would be nowhere near as big.

    Root played a silly shot 1st ball from Lyons but had withstood the pace till then, Carberry justified his place with a fighting knock. but 7 other England 'batsmen' need to take a long hard look at them selves in the mirror.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on December 7, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    England in last few months felt like can do no wrong, Their batters scored at ease and bowlers got wickets at will..Fast forward today their batters hardly score 200 and bowlers conceive 400+. On the other hand, Australia lost 4-0 to india when their batters could hardly cross 200 and bowlers gave away 400+ runs every match seem like the world beaters again. Truth is, both teams next to ordinary outside their country and comfort zone.

  • IAS2009 on December 7, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    if Cook din't play like he usually does England could loose 5-0, the tail is too long, if top order dont' do good the last 5 wickets dont even give you 50 runs, after Trott departure England does not look same again. Key players are out of form and Swann has been handled very well by Aussies, Johnson is bowling well but many wickets were given away by England to poor shots KP played a horrible shot when two men placed there and he fall for it. to be bundled for 172 on this pitch is simply not good enough by any standard. Aussies can feel the Ashes coming to them. This is the best pitch England would get on this tour and they did so bad, the signs are not good For England.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 7, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket Actually there were quite a few English innings' that were saved by Bell, and only Bell, in the last Ashes series. I was truly shocked and appalled that Bell didn't bat at 3. I'm an Australian and I support my team, but I wanted to see a contest. As soon as Joe Root walked out after Cook was clean bowled my heart sank.

    Imagine if Bell did bat at 3, and Carberry makes 60. Bell probably scores 80-100 in that time (as opposed to Root scoring 15 off 80), given that he has a much wider scope for scoring runs and is simply a better batsman than Carberry, as well as taking the pressure off him. Suddenly England are 1/150+, with KP walking out next. Who cares if the batting order is Root, Stokes, Prior in a row further down the order.

    Bell literally gets 1 proper batting partner with the first innings order, in this case it was Carberry. As soon as Warner took that gem of a catch the writing was on the wall.

  • chitti_cricket on December 7, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Trot J's vacuum is creating panic in England's camp. If he gave even slightest hint of he was not fit enough to play entire series he should not have been brought here. England should learn to make changes and depend on their backups if need be instead of persuading the same old failed players and policies. For long England depended on formulas, processes and methods. They never showed any spur of the moment and innovation and were boring even when they were winning. Now they are losing and giving entire world some kind of stick to beat them. By all standards this display of batting is substandard and has to improve. If not please be prepared for 2006-7 Ashes repeat.