Bell has been a shadow-like presence, as insubstantial as he's sometimes good-looking. His 72 could yet be the highest individual score of the match, but even if it is, his contribution doesn't feel as though it carries that weight.
In a way he is emblematic of a series played out between two fragile, flaky teams who lurch capriciously between good and bad, and where luck has played a bigger than usual role. We still know no more about him now than we did at the start.
Perhaps that's the point. With Ian Ronald Bell, there might be nothing more to know. He is what he is, and England will take it or leave it.
Win or lose, change is coming for England. Colly has almost exhausted the goodwill of his innings at Cardiff, KP will be fit again, Bopara is a natural number five, the side must be rebalanced without Flintoff. Ian Bell, the schoolboy who went to war, may not be back for a while.