Everybody knows that England’s Ian Bell has the kind of talent and ability that should propel him to greatness. He can play every kind of shot and has excellent and enduring technique. However, some have felt that he gets himself out too easily and that he’s never fulfilled the considerable expectations that have always rested on his shoulders.
Until now. Surely. In the first Ashes Test match just concluded, Bell scored a vital 109 in England’s second innings total of 375. Not only was the century his eighteenth—a number that truly makes him a very superior batsman—but he posted it in the second innings, usually a symbol of a player’s concentration, discipline, and importance to the side. Bell has now passed 6000 runs in Test cricket and has a very healthy average of 45.90. He still has four or five years in him at the highest level. Hopefully, this essential, match-winning knock against the Australians will give him the confidence to be as punishing and dominant a middle-order batsman—and as precious a wicket—as Michael Hussey was to the Australians.