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Bell batting at three guarantees a half century in second Test

| 02.12.2013

Jonathan Trott’s unfortunate absence from England’s batting line-up leaves a gaping hole for the second Test at the Adelaide Oval, but there is one man suitably equipped to fill it.

Trott’s Warwickshire teammate, Ian Bell, has long had designs on batting at first drop for his country. In fact, there was a time when it would have been strange to read an interview with the right-hander where the subject of his desire to do so wasn’t broached.

Since his fellow midlands batting partner’s emergence on the scene, those rumblings subsided but, with the prospect of moving up the order a very real one and with Bell a far better player to be able to cope with the task now than he’s even been before, it’s time to cash in.

The silky strokemaker has clocked up 21 Test matches and 37 innings at number three. At 39.91 his batting average in the position is far worse than his offerings at numbers five or six, where he boasts figures of 49.58 and 59.92 respectively.

However, a chronological list of his scores in the position suggests he was growing into the role before Trott came along and snatched the key to the number three spot away from him. His last six scores in that position were 72, 4, 159, 34, 235 and 3 and that double ton remains his highest ever Test score.

So, when England’s first innings with the willow gets underway at Adelaide, be sure to have stuck a few pennies on the Coventry native to score a half century at 13/8.

That bet is made even firmer when Bell’s record against the Aussies at number three is considered, where he’s recorded a half century in five of the six matches in which he’s strode to the middle with his side one wicket down.

Or, if you fancy lowering the bar slightly, take the 5/6 on offer about him scoring over 30.5 runs in the first dig.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.