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If England Call, Sure I’ll Answer the Phone - In-form Ian Bell Crosses 20,000 First-Class Runs

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 31, 2018, 2:33 PM IST
If England Call, Sure I’ll Answer the Phone - In-form Ian Bell Crosses 20,000 First-Class Runs

(Credit: ICC)

Even as England’s top order has struggled in recent times, one of their most successful modern-day batsmen, Ian Bell, has served a timely reminder of his pedigree. On Thursday, Bell went past 20,000 first-class runs enroute a splendid 204 against Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay.

While England were finding the going tough in the fourth Test against India in Southampton, Bell went about his business with utmost class scoring his fourth century of the County Championship this year - more than any other player. The 36-year-old eventually finished with 204 helping his side Warwickshire end Day 2 on a commanding 445 for 8 in reply to Glamorgan's 203.

Not surprisingly, the clamour for Bell's inclusion, ever since he had admitted being open to an international return, has only increased. Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook have been woefully out of touch while Joe Root as well has had a tough time since moving up to No.3 ion the batting order.

So, could England England go back to their forgotten hero in order to address the growing problems? Bell, for one is certainly ready.

"I'm happy. I'm playing well, I'm moving well and enjoying my cricket and the expectation and drive is here," Bell told BBC WM after his marathon 204 effort. "Who knows what the next 12 months holds? [If England call] I'm sure I'll answer the phone."

Bell has played 118 Tests recording 7727 runs at an impressive average of 42.69 which includes 46 half-centuries and 22 tons. He was dropped from for the national side in 2015 following a form slump and has not turned out for them since.

He had a poor 2017 county cricket season where he averaged just 25.91 and Bell admitted that he considered walking away from the game. But, a complete break from the game in the off-season did him a world of good, and he is back doing what he knows best - racking up runs aplenty.

In 10 games so far this season, Bell has scored 871 runs at 62.21 looking more assured than ever. The penchant to score the 'daddy hundreds', as he calls them, is back, but will that be enough to convince England’s selectors to turn to him again in this hour of England's middle-order crisis?
First Published: August 31, 2018, 1:57 PM IST

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