Ian Bell, England - World Cup player to watch

We're sick to death of seeing Kevin Pietersen's face everywhere. We're with him when he starts batting, but there's no need to highlight him before the World Cup. It's pretty obvious that he's England's most destructive one-day batsman. Here at King Cricket we're more subtle. Oh, okay - more obstinate.

Similarly, we think Monty Panesar could have a big World Cup, but again, he's somehow too glamourous. James Anderson's already made an impact at past World Cups, so he's out. Paul Nixon's worth listening to, but not watching. Andrew Flintoff's another who's too obvious.

So, Ian Bell then...

Well bear with us. England's number three has a reputation for clogging up the top-order with his 'staunch' batting style, but we know for a fact that Ian Bell has all of the shots - ALL OF THEM! At least he's got all of the shots from the old textbooks. The books before innovation became so painfully desirable.

Everyone's focussing on all the big-hitters and we'll admit, we're also guilty of that - picking Justin Kemp as one of our players to watch, for example. We've just got a sneaking suspicion that maybe international cricket's reaching saturation point with the rope-clearers.

There comes a point where skill is being sacrificed in favour of power and at some point that will start to tell. Not that these six-an-over behemoths are without skill. It's just that little extra strength and that little less finesse projected over the entire cricketing world.

At some point, there'll be a tricky wicket and low scores. Talent will out. Maybe Ian Bell won't win some crucial match for England, but we're picking him as an emblem of a certain brand of cricket.

Other players to watch during the World Cup

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Friday, March 09, 2007

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