Bell's toil for county earns Test recall after Thorpe injury

Ian Bell looks set to make his England debut at The Oval on Thursday following his selection in the 13-man squad for this summer's fourth and final Test.

Ian Bell looks set to make his England debut at The Oval on Thursday following his selection in the 13-man squad for this summer's fourth and final Test. The Warwickshire batsman will have to wait until Graham Thorpe has a fitness test on the finger he fractured at Old Trafford on Sunday but the sight of Andrew Flintoff coming in to bat before England's number five yesterday suggests the Surrey batsman is struggling.

"Graham Thorpe has been retained in the squad for The Oval but his finger injury makes him doubtful," explained David Graveney, the chairman of selectors. "We will continue to monitor his fitness over the next 48 hours. Mark Butcher and Paul Collingwood are both unavailable due to injury so we have decided to add Ian Bell to the squad."

Bell fully deserves this opportunity after a wonderful summer with his county. The 22-year-old is currently the third-highest run-scorer in first-class cricket - after Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key - with 1,455 runs at the impressive average of 80.83.

This is not the first time that Bell has been selected in an England squad. The diminutive right-hander joined England in New Zealand in 2001-02 where he acted as cover for Mark Butcher and then again in the summer when Nasser Hussain's side took on Sri Lanka. But on each occasion Bell was overlooked.

This setback had an adverse effect on Bell who had two poor summers. This run of form led to the Warwickshire coach, John Inverarity, recommending that he go and play grade cricket in Perth, Western Australia.

Here Bell worked on his technique and tightened up his game. And the results have been spectacular. Bell has scored six hundreds this summer, including a career best unbeaten 262 against Sussex at Horsham. He is currently in excellent touch having scored four hundreds and a 96 not out in his last five innings.

Gareth Batty misses out but the remainder of the squad is unchanged.

England Squad (Fourth Test v West Indies, Thursday, The Oval): M P Vaughan (capt), J M Anderson, I R Bell, A Flintoff, A F Giles, S J Harmison, M J Hoggard, G O Jones, S P Jones, R W T Key, A J Strauss, G P Thorpe, M E Trescothick.

Suggested Topics
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'