Former England skipper and TV commentator Nasser Hussain has clearly stated that it would be a backwards step to recall the veteran Ian Bell back into the test squad. Bell, who last played for England in a test in late 2015 against Pakistan in UAE, was axed following a run of dismal scores throughout the English summer. The elegant right-hander wasn’t named for the tour of South Africa, and the subsequent home series’ against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
With England due to tour the challenging terrain of India later this year, some experience would be needed in the middle order. With the likes of Alex Hales, James Vince and Gary Ballance failing miserably, the English selectors are on course to recall Bell. Bell in the past has done reasonably well in India and his technique against spin remains solid.
“There is no doubting Ian Bell’s class and his record in the sub-continent – I think he averages over 40 in the sub-continent,” Hussain said. “But he didn’t have a good time of it in the UAE recently and that is why he was left out.”I would personally like to look to the future, especially with the tour of Bangladesh. I don’t see the mileage of taking Bell, albeit a fantastic player, so I would look to the future. “But they have gone for a couple of players like Vince who haven’t done much and might want that consistent solidity that Ian Bell would bring,” the former England captain mentioned.
“It would be a bit of a backwards step but I understand that they keep giving people chances and they are not taking them, so there is that temptation to go back to Ian Bell who is a very fine international cricketer,” Hussain further added.
Hussain went on to mention that instead of recalling Bell, the selectors could groom a youngster for the tours of Bangladesh and India. “I personally would look to, especially in Bangladesh, blood a youngster and give a youngster an opportunity. Whether that youngster is Ben Duckett, who has not just done it in one-day cricket, or other lads like Tom Westley, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Scott Borthwick. There are other lads who have done fine things this summer,” Hussain concluded.