Gary Ballance for Ian Bell: Is it worth a gamble against South Africa by ECB?

It has been 24 innings since Bell scored a century in Tests.

Gary Ballance for Ian Bell: Is it worth a gamble against South Africa by ECB?

New Delhi: England selectors shocked the cricketing fraternity on Thursday with their decision to drop veteran Ian Bell for the upcoming South African tour.

The selectors chose to back Gary Ballance, the left-hander who has an uphill task ahead of him to fill Bell's shoes against the Proteas.

It has been 24 innings since Bell scored a century compared to Ballance, who has four centuries to his name, the last coming against West Indies in April this year. However, since then, the left-hander has failed to make much of an impact due to lack of consistency.

While Bell expressed his disappointment on Twitter, he got backing from the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Mark Boucher who slammed ECB for the 33-year-old's omission.

Bell might have not been in the best of form of late, but considering the experience he has against quality opponents, he possibly deserved another chance, especially when the Poms would be playing away from home.

South Africa are a force to reckon with at home and it remains to be seen whether Ballance can prove his mettle against a fearsome pace attack comprising Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander.

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