I wanted to do an Ian Bell 100th test tribute thread, but thought it would be interesting to do it in the context of a comparison with Graham Thorpe, who he effectively replaced in the England team and who played exactly 100 tests.
Bell is, after 99 tests, marginally ahead in terms of runs scored (6787 compared to 6744), average (45.24 compared to 44.66), and centuries (20 compared to 16).
Basically, their stats are as close to identical as you can get. But I think almost everyone would rate Thorpe higher than Bell. I know one obvious reason would be that people think it was harder to score runs in the first part of Thorpe's career than it was in the first half of Bell's career. But Bell has been part of four Ashes victories, the win in India, etc., things Thorpe never did.
So, how do Bell and Thorpe compare at this moment?
And what would Bell need to do to in the remainder of his career for him to be considered the better of the two?