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Full name Ian Ronald Bell
Born April 11, 1982, Walsgrave, Coventry, Warwickshire
Current age 31 years 253 days
Major teams England, England Lions, England Under-19s, Marylebone Cricket Club, Warwickshire, Warwickshire Cricket Board
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Height 5 ft 10 in
Education Princethorpe College, Rugby
Relation Brother - KD Bell
|Test debut||England v West Indies at The Oval, Aug 19-21, 2004 scorecard|
|Last Test||Australia v England at Perth, Dec 13-17, 2013 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Zimbabwe v England at Harare, Nov 28, 2004 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v India at Birmingham, Jun 23, 2013 scorecard|
|T20I debut||England v Pakistan at Bristol, Aug 28, 2006 scorecard|
|Last T20I||Australia v England at Melbourne, Jan 14, 2011 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Australia v England at Perth, Dec 13-17, 2013 scorecard|
|List A debut||1999|
|Last List A||England v India at Birmingham, Jun 23, 2013 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Somerset v Warwickshire at Taunton, Jun 13, 2003 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Australia v England at Melbourne, Jan 14, 2011 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|15, 60||England||v Australia||Perth||13 Dec 2013||Test # 2107|
|72*, 6||England||v Australia||Adelaide||5 Dec 2013||Test # 2105|
|13||England XI||v CA Chairman||Alice Springs||29 Nov 2013||Other|
|5, 32||England||v Australia||Brisbane||21 Nov 2013||Test # 2103|
|35, 33*||England XI||v CA Inv XI||Sydney||13 Nov 2013||FC|
|115||England XI||v WA Chair XI||Perth||31 Oct 2013||FC|
|45, 17||England||v Australia||The Oval||21 Aug 2013||Test # 2094|
|6, 113||England||v Australia||Chester-le-Street||9 Aug 2013||Test # 2093|
|60, 4*||England||v Australia||Manchester||1 Aug 2013||Test # 2092|
|109, 74||England||v Australia||Lord's||18 Jul 2013||Test # 2091|
Once described by Dayle Hadlee as the best 16-year old he had ever seen, Ian Bell had been earmarked for greatness long before he was drafted onto the England tour of New Zealand in 2001-02, as cover for the injured Mark Butcher.
Technically sound, Bell is a top-order batsman very much in the mould of Michael Atherton, who was burdened with similar expectations when he made his England debut a generation ago. Unlike Atherton, who invariably produced his best when his back was firmly against the wall, Bell's most fluent early efforts tended to come about in a pressure vacuum, a trait that belied an average hovering around the 40 mark, and a record of a century every five or so Tests.
However, on the tour of South Africa in 2009-10, Bell set about changing those perceptions. A perfectly paced century while batting at No. 6 in Durban set England up for an innings victory that ranked, at the time, among their finest overseas performances for a generation, but he surpassed that effort in the very next Test in Cape Town, with a backs-to-the-wall 78 that saved the match and ensured a share of the series. On the subsequent tour of Australia, he continued to save his best for when the chips were down, particularly during England's first-innings struggles at Brisbane and Perth. He finished the tour on a high with his maiden Ashes hundred at Sydney, and a reputation transformed.
When in form, Bell has always been adept at leaving the ball outside off stump, and he received glowing reviews from coaches at every stage of his development, not least from Rod Marsh at the England Academy, a man not given to hyperbole. A former England U19 captain, Bell had played just 13 first-class games when called into the England squad, though in 2001 he scored 836 runs for Warwickshire at an average of over 64, including three centuries.
He didn't immediately translate that success and talent into runs at the international stage - he was found out by Australia's champions, McGrath and Warne, he mustered just 171 runs in ten innings - but he gradually found his feet and his form at the top level. In 2010 and 2011, he averaged more than 65 in five successive series, including the 2010-11 Ashes. But obviously that run wasn't going to last forever: he was brought back to earth by Pakistan's offspinner Saaed Ajmal in the three-Test series in 2012, managing only 51 runs in six innings.
The year was a largely forgettable one in Tests, for Bell and England, though pride was salvaged in India. A first series win in the country since 1984-85 was sealed in Nagpur, where Bell's second-innings hundred made certain of the requisite draw. A reminder of Bell's class came in 50-over cricket, where he made an immaculate transition to opener. That continued into 2013, with his third ODI hundred in lofty Dharamsala, although England were eventually thwarted in their attempts to win global silverware in the Champions Trophy final.
His reputation for producing when England needed him was then further burnished by back-to-back hundreds in the first two Tests against Australia, making him the first man to reach triple figures in three successive Ashes Tests since Chris Broad in 1986.
Andrew Miller and ESPNcricinfo staff
NBC Denis Compton Award 1999, 2000, 2001
PCA Young Cricketer of the Year 2004
Awarded the MBE in 2005
ICC Emerging Player of the Year 2006
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