"Anointed as England's big hope at 16, and delivering"
No English batsman has made the art of hitting a cricket ball more aesthetically pleasing since David Gower than Ian Bell.
But he has also added a steely backbone to his undoubted gifts to mature into arguably the finest all round batsman of his generation whatever the circumstances.
A collection of three Ashes tons in the 2013 series earned him the Compton-Miller medal as the best player on either side, which is a long way from the mickey taking he endured during the 2005 series in which he scored just 171 runs and was dubbed 'the Sherminator' by a mischievous Shane Warne.
At 31 Bell has grown up, got married had his first son and become a cornerstone of the England team. Birmingham born and bred, his beloved Aston Villa rose to him and Chris Woakes as they paraded a miniature Ashes replica urn around Villa Park, but along with several members of the team he has a deep passion for rugby union as well. Northampton Saints are his team, and he can regularly be spotted practising his touch-finding kicks before England team warm-ups. A commitment to fitness also has him donning the boxing gloves on a regular basis, and holding the pads is always England team security guru Reg Dickason.