Home > Features >

Gary Ballance: Possible England batting star of the future

Gary-Ballance-Possible-England-batting-star-of-the-future628
Gary Ballance drives the ball on his way to his second Test century © Getty Images

With a century against India at Lord’s in the second Test match of the series, Gary Ballance once again showed his ability to absorb pressure and score valuable runs. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the man who could one day become a star for England.

There is much to like about Gary Simon Ballance. He has a bright disposition, a reassuring presence at the crease, and an off-side game that would make Sourav Ganguly proud. He does not come across as an extravagant stroke-maker, but much like Ajinkya Rahane, seems like a batsman who can play well within his own limitations.

The Zimbabwe-born No 3 has now played four Tests for England. He has registered at least 70 on four occasions, once in each match. In the ongoing Test against India, he saved the day for England with a well-compiled 110, without which England would have been in a very poor position.

What stands out about his batsmanship is the no-frills, no-thrills approach he takes. It seems rather unlikely that he will ever hit six sixes in an over, or decimate an attack with savage slogs. However, it is quite conceivable that he will grind bowlers into the ground, while punishing bad balls and playing good, old-fashioned cricket.

Ballance showed that he could put in the aggressive touch as well; he went from 85 to 103 in eight balls, with four boundaries. He took on Stuart Binny — perhaps not the quickest customer — in the process, essentially blunting the all-rounder’s potency with the ball.

With Alastair Cook and Ian Bell struggling for form, the onus has been on the younger players to perform. Sam Robson and Ballance have made up for the repeated failures of Bell and Cook at the top of the order, and that has allowed both men to get extended runs. From that perspective, Ballance’s contribution to the side has been more than what the stats books say.

What is even more impressive is that Ballance has been able to put a rather embarrassing incident that occurred a few days ago behind him, wherein the batsman had been photographed in an unflattering manner after a night out with some of his teammates.

However, what should be noted is that in the past some international players have taken to fisticuffs after hitting the beer hard, and in the process caused harm to either fellow players or other patrons. What Ballance did — albeit shirtless — was proclaim his love for England over and over again; something that would have perhaps endeared him to his teammates.

England are going through a transition stage at the moment. Robson, Ballance and Moeen Ali are all fresh recruits with the big boots to fill. Of the lot, Ballance has looked by far the one who belongs the most. It is still early days, but if he can continue going in similar vein, he could be one of England’s brightest prospects in days to come.

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

New Zealand restricted to 230 in 1st ODI against South Africa

IPL success embodies emergence of sports as global industry, says India’s representative at UN

Live Cricket Score: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui

Live Scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui

Kevin Pietersen is probably the best cricketer I have played with: Eoin Morgan

A Pakistan all-time XI: a galaxy of captains

James Neesham can provide more impetus to New Zealand’s weakened batting up the order

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Virender Sehwag paid birthday tribute to by Sophos Antivirus

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here