Tuesday, September 26, 2006

There was an intense escalation in the war of words ahead of the winters Ashes series today. Whilst Brett Lee continued with the Aussies cunning plan of piling pressure on new skipper Andrew Flintoff, Ian Bell insisted he was 'not frightened' of Shane Warne.

Firstly Brett Lee, he knows that the England camp have been watching him make wicket-taking look easy in the DLF cup. He knows he will have an opportunity to intimidate the England batsmen in the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy. Today he told reporters 'I'm really excited about playing against Freddie' and that there were 'A few things I want to achieve.' Take this as meaning 'I want to get Freddie out'.
Immediately after the annoucement that Freddie had been made skipper Ricky Ponting and Warne unleashed the first attack. Whilst Ponting claimed to be 'surprised' Warne discussed the posibility of sledging him.
It looks like the Aussies are trying to syke Freddie out on his return to international duty in the ICC trophy. The likelyhood is Lee will have a few short balls and fast yorkers up his sleeve to test him. Lee seems to believe dismissing Flintoff in the shorter version of the game, and knocking England out of the tournament, will give him a psychological edge in the test series.
Ian Bell launched the counter attack for England today, saying 'If we can match Australia in terms of the verbals and not get carried away with other things around us I'm sure we'll be fine.'
Bell denied speculation he was frightened of Warne joking 'He can't hit me on the head which is a bonus'. Bell looked as if he suffered from stage-fright in the 2005 series in England, and later against the spin of Kumble in last winters India tour. On both occasions he failed to play at a ball that was on target for his stumps, and just stood there looking Gazzumped. Since the Kumble dismissal Bell has not repeated the error however, and was in good form this summer at home.
Since the last Ashes series Bell has averaged 51 in test cricket and scored 4 centuries. If selected ahead of Paul Collingwood to bat in the number 5 berth, he will have to play in front of the biggest crowds in the game. Having scored two more test centries in the last year than Collingwood, Bell will probably get the nod for the first test at the 'gabba.
Bell's got the technique, but he better get ready for the crowd and the atmosphere. Lee better get ready to be hooked for six.


Blogger cov said...

Oi Stephen L..what happened to our link? Come on you've got Boris Johnson so you can stick our site on! :)

2:56 PM  
Blogger Steven_L said...

Sorry, my mistake - Ill sort it now

5:06 AM  
Blogger cov said...

Thanks Stephen.

2:16 AM  

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