The Ashes 2013: Five Times England's Ian Bell Has 'Come of Age'

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The Ashes 2013: Five Times England's Ian Bell Has 'Come of Age'
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Is Ian Bell the batsman England can rely on to score big runs? Is he the player who can be trusted to bat his team-mates out of trouble when the chips are down?

Bell has been on the England team since 2004, feted as one of the most naturally talented players of his generation and destined to play for his country from a young age.

Now, the best part of a decade and more than 6,000 Test runs later, Bell still divides opinion.

His centuries in the first two Tests prompted more talk that he had "come of age," but after another reckless shot with his team collapsing, those doubts have recurred.

Perhaps England just have to accept Bell for what he is: a supremely gifted player capable of scoring runs in any situation but also prone to throwing away starts. He is a player as capable of the sublime as he is the occasional moment of ridiculousness. 

Here, we take a quick look at five times Bell's coming of age in the international arena has been proclaimed, and five times that wasn't quite the case.

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