- Live Update
David Hopps at Warwickshire 88-5 v Surrey
Captaincy is proving an exhausting business for Ian Bell. Soon after lunch, half Warwickshire's side are already dismissed and, if this game concludes with a predictable Surrey victory, Warwickshire will find themselves in a relegation fight. Not what Bell imagined when his beloved Warwickshire were presented by many as Championship favourites in April.
Zafar Ansari has quickened Warwickshire's decline since lunch, a decent ball which drove Laurie Evans onto the back foot and turned to hit off stump. Spin was first seen at 63 for 4 and there looks enough for both Ansari and Gareth Batty to prosper. I have mildly derided suggestions that Gareth Batty might have to make an England comeback at a Good Old Age, but he has bowled well today and my sentiments are shifting: it is not ideal, maybe it really is the only pragmatic choice.
Angus Fraser is the England selector on duty here and, risking a visit to the canteen over lunch, he did respond to some Paxman-like quizzing from one Warwickshire member by agreeing that yes, indeed, Ian Bell could not be discounted in a list of potential batsmen for India. He is averaging less than 40 but contenders are not exactly falling out of the trees: that last observation was mine, not Fraser's. Warwickshire's Paxman pressed him several more times on the point but did not force out an exclusive. As far as Gus is concerned, nobody ever does.
Bell is 20 in a long time, his only consideration guiding Warwickshire to a draw. It looks unlikely, but he will not be admitting as much.