Home > Features >

Ian Bell and other England cricketers to play 100th Test by the age of 32

Ian Bell © Getty Images
Ian Bell © Getty Images

Ian Bell became the fourth England player to complete the landmark of playing 100 Tests at or before 32, when he took field in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley. Bharath Ramaraj looks at the other three cricketers who played 100 Tests by the age of 32, and how England have been reluctant to give a chance to cricketers when they are young.

When Ian Bell walks to the middle to take strike in the first innings of the second Test match, he will be batting in his 100th Test. After spending gallons of sweat and toil, Bell will be a satisfied man. He has made runs all over the cricketing world, and with loads of skill he has shown his ability to succeed in times of crisis.

Interestingly, at 32, Bell is only the fourth Englishman of that age to play 100 Tests.  It tells you that England don’t give Test caps to teenagers (unless it is Brian Close). Ben Hollioake too made his Test debut at a young age. Bell, from a tender age, was acknowledged as a precociously talented batsman and that led to selectors showing immense faith in him and giving him a chance to wear the white flannels when he was 22, against the West Indies at the Oval in 2004.

The others in the list are Michael Atherton, David Gower and the present England captain, Alastair Cook. Among the lot, Atherton was the youngest to reach the mark. The veteran batsman went onto play 115 Test for England. Atherton played at a time when it seemed like England found themselves in a long trench of heavy defeats. However, Atherton on many occasions, especially against the West Indies and South Africa, shouldered the responsibility of being the key batsman in the setup. He wasn’t exactly a magisterial magician with the bat, but was a gutsy batsman on the back-foot.

Gower, the elegant southpaw, reached the coveted landmark of playing 100 Tests against the rampaging West Indies at Leeds in 1988. The left-hander could play strokes of surreal beauty. Gower was arguably at his best when England toured Australia in 1986-87. With uncanny timing and placement, he notched up two hundreds, including one at WACA to take them to a series triumph.

Cook, England’s current captain made his Test debut at Nagpur in 2006 and straightaway scored a century. Cook has many splendid achievements to his name; including leading England to a memorable series win in India. The annus mirabilis continued for Cook, as England also retained the Ashes in 2013. But he has struggled for form in recent times and the 5-0 whitewash Down Under would have hurt him big time.

It is also interesting to note that Gower, Atherton and Cook under the weight of expectations didn’t exactly touch tall peaks in their 100th Test. Maybe Bell will break that jinx with an innings of timeless beauty.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

More

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Ambati Rayudu has to make every opportunity count if he is to play in ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Highlights

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Highlights

MS Dhoni records most stumpings in international cricket during India-England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

MS Dhoni credits spinners’ solid display for India’s win over England in 3rd ODI

Jonathan Trott cleared for selection by England’s medical team

Virat Kohli-Ben Stokes involved in verbal spat during India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Former cricket coach Sumit Bose passes away

India trounce England by six wickets in 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge; take unassailable 2-0 series lead

Statistical review of batsmen with two or more consecutive ducks from ODI debut

Ambati Rayudu has to make every opportunity count if he is to play in ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Highlights

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Highlights

MS Dhoni records most stumpings in international cricket during India-England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

667 Posts | 6 Fans

10 Most Unbeatable Records in Cricket

Beware! sugary drinks may increase risk of cancer and heart disease

Ebola infected monkeys said to be recovering with ZMapp

HTC to finally unveil two wearables, Desire 820 with 64-bit processor at IFA on September 4

Ganesh Festival 2014: Salman Khan’s former co-star Daisy Shah attends Ganpati celebrations at his residence-view pic!

NGOs pursue education for all

Statistical review of batsmen with two or more consecutive ducks from ODI debut

This is the only Apple iPhone 6 leak video you should watch ahead of September 9 launch

International programme in Animal Husbandry

MS Dhoni credits spinners’ solid display for India’s win over England in 3rd ODI

Ganesh Festival Song of the Day: Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Shree Ganeshay Dheemahi’ from Viruddh

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here