Anticipating Wisden

I haven't seen the 2008 Wisden yet, but there seems to be a lot of talk around about some of the comments Scyld Berry's made, together with the choice of Ian Bell as one of the Five Cricketers of the year, alongside the more deserving Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ottis Gibson, Ryan Sidebottom and Zaheer Khan, at least two of whom were absolutely obvious selections.

Having not read any of Berry's comments in full I can't say very much, but I'm pleased he appears to have said something about the possibility of on-field violence and the duty of the ICC to try to prevent it happening. It's something I've been concerned about for a long time, and the events of the Australian winter only reinforced my views. I don't, though, have very much confidence in the ICC's ability to get to grips with the issue before (or even after) something serious happens. That said, they're probably in a flat spin at the moment about the effect which the forces of Indian commerce are threatening to have on world cricket. And if they're not, they should be.

I yield to absolutely no-one in my admiration for Ian Bell. As I've often stated, if he ever realizes just how good he could be he could become very good indeed (although I'm starting to doubt if he'll ever have the iron confidence which all really great players have, as that's something that's very hard - and probably impossible - to develop), but his achievements last summer don't in my opinion match up with the general standard set for Wisden selections. While acknowledging the quality he showed in the ODI arena (which he hasn't built upon since), he made 417 runs in 12 Test innings with one hundred and three fifties. Good, yes, but hardly briliant for someone with his potential.

Why not wait until he really starts to blossom?


Homer said...

Bell is not bloody minded enough to warrant the honor.. While I love to see him bat, he stays at the wicket, when required to do the hard yards are too few and far in between.

The SOuth Africa series will make or break him.


Brian Carpenter said...

Cheers, Homer. Not sure that the SA series will 'make or break him' as he'll probably just go back to county cricket and carry on scoring runs until he's selecetd again, a bit like Mark Ramparakash used to do. The difference being that Bell has achieved more at international level already than Ramps ever did. The lack of bloody-mindedness seems a given, though, and will probably mean that he'll never quite fulfil his potential.

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