London, Apr. 23: England ‘s cricket selectors are likely to show the door to Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies, though as of now, there is nothing official about it.
Apart from Bell, three contenders are in the running for the number three spot in the England squad – Michael Vaughan of Yorkshire, Ravi Bopara of Essex and Owais Shah of Middlesex, The Independent reports.
Until a matter of weeks ago, Bell was in pole position to play in the blue-riband batting position in the Ashes series this summer. But he stumbled badly on the recent tour of the Caribbean when an abject dismissal in the second innings of the first Test provoked England''s collapse and subsequent defeat.
It was the culmination of a lean run for the batsman who is England''s most gifted craftsman and he was dropped.
The feeling was that he had sold his wicket too cheaply too often and needed to refresh his mental approach. By picking him in the Lions squad yesterday, England have virtually excluded him from consideration for the first Test against the West Indies at Lord''s which begins on May 6.
Of course, if Bell''s rich vein of early season form continues and his replacements fail he could still receive the call.
While Shah has taken over from Bell in the Caribbean, he rapidly lost ground after a half-century in his first innings and by the end looked not only out of form but out of his class.
According to the paper, it would be a risk to retain faith in Shah now.
As far as Bopara is concerned, he made a hundred batting at six in his only Test in the West Indies, and has no experience of batting at three in Test matches.
That England are so close to playing Australia without being sure of the identity of the man who may very well dictate the course of many innings is extremely worrying, the paper opines. (ANI)