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Ian Bell - The difference maker

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Ian_Bell_England_cricketAnderson, Swann, Siddle along with Harris and Broad in the fourth Test, have shown how effectively to use a cricket ball. Pietersen and Clarke have shown the glimpses of authority. Rogers has highlighted how an old fellow could still be good enough. Steve Smith and Joe Root too have made some valuable contributions to their team. But it is Ian Bell who has been the most exceptional batsman.

Bell has been highly rated by his peers and cricket fans for his class, elegance and wonderful touch-play. But till the last few years, he generally failed to bind his skills with consistency. If that was not enough, the Cooks, the Pietersens and a few others of this world enjoyed their time under the spotlight better than Bell did. But with his new-found consistency and innate batting skills, Bell has won many more supporters than before.

With 3 centuries and two half centuries in four Tests Ian Bell has been batting like a dream in this Ashes. And by doing so, has made Ashes really special for England and their supporters. England have already won this Ashes and Bell’s contribution with the bat has helped England a great deal in winning the Ashes for the third time in a row.

For England in this series, apart from Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root have crossed the hundred run mark one time each. For Australia too there are two centuries; one from Clarke and the other from Rogers. Australia have scored 2132 runs thus far in Ashes. Alternatively England have scored 2273 runs in Ashes. So, the difference between the runs scored by these teams comes to 141 runs favouring England.

 

  Innings Runs
England 8 2273
Australia 8 2132

 

Bell till now has scored 500 runs in Ashes. That’s approximately 22% of the amount of runs England scored across 8 innings. Now, if we minus this amount from the runs England have scored across 4 Tests, England have scored 1773 runs. It means, if we take out Bell’s runs from the total runs England scored, England remain 359 runs behind to what Australia have managed to score in this Ashes so far. To put it differently, keep Bell’s 500 aside Australia have had an upper-hand over England with the bat.

 

  Innings Runs
Ian Bell 8 500
England 8 2273
England without Bell 8 1773

 

But that has not helped Australia to win any game. Although cricket is a team-game, Bell's contribution is a classic example of how one individual's performance can change the fortunes of a team and an outcome of the series.

Stats by: Karna Yajnik



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