Bell Dropped By England

England have named their touring party for the upcoming test series in South Africa. England will play a four-match test series against South Africa with the first test match starting on 26 December. Ian Bell has been left out along with leg-spinner Adil Rashid. Bell was the third highest runscorer for England in the recent 2-0 test series defeat to Pakistan but has averages just 26 in 13 test matches in 2015.

Is It The End Of The Road For Bell?

Ian Bell is third in England’s list of all-time test appearances. Playing 118 matches, scoring 22 centuries and averaging  42.69 but hasn’t scored a century in 23 test innings.  With 7,727 test runs, Bell is eighth on England’s leading run scorers of all-time.

If this is the end for Bell, then he will go down as one of the greatest players of his generation. When on the top of his game, Bell is acknowledged as a wonderful stroke-maker, who makes batting look easy.

Though he is 33 years of age and many will question what the future holds for Bell now, he has already stated that he is determined to fight for his pace back in the line-up.

Ballance And Compton Return

England have recalled Gary Ballance and Nick Compton to the squad and they will be fighting it out for a place in the batting line-up come the first test.  Ballance has an impressive record at test level. Averaging nearly 48 from his 15 test matches but was dropped during the recent Ashes win over Australia due to his poor form.

While Compton returns to the test squad after an absence of two years. He made two centuries in nine test appearances but he was dropped in 2013. Compton will surely be fighting for the openers spot alongside Alastair Cook with Alex Hales. Hales was in the test squad against Pakistan but England favoured Moeen Ali as it allowed them to play two spinners.

England will be pleased with the new that all-rounder Ben Stokes has been passed fit for the series after suffering a shoulder injury in the third test against Pakistan. Stokes inclusion will allow England to continue with five frontline bowlers. On the bowling front Finn and Wood miss out due to injury.

With Finn and Wood missing, England have recalled Chris Woakes and have also included Mark Footitt, who featured in several Ashes squad this summer without featuring. Yorkshire leg-spinner isn’t included in the squad, whilst Samit Patel retains his place. England are only likely to play one spinner in South Africa. With Moeen Ali set to be the first-choice. While Rashid omission allows his to play in Australia’s Twenty20 competition, The Big Bash.

England Test squad: Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wk), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wk), Nick Compton (Middlesex), Mark Footitt (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

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