Home > Features >

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Gary Ballance fills void left by Jonathan Trott

Garry Ballance has now scored three tons in six Tests © Getty Images
Garry Ballance has now scored three tons in six Tests © Getty Images

Three tons in six Tests is something the selectors would have taken any day when it came to replacing a batsman like Jonathan Trott at No 3. Yorkshire boy Gary Ballance has hit the right note this summer with his second ton in consecutive Tests against India. Abhijit Banare analyses Ballance’s ton in the third Test at Southampton.

While the seniors in the England team have struggled to take onus, Gary Ballance is leading the race among the younger lot to consistently make a difference. With two centuries in consecutive Tests, Ballance has made Jonathan Trott’s absence from No 3 spot a distant past. If there’s any trace of Trott left at that position is the ability of his replacement to grind the bowlers and bat for life. In six Tests, he has already notched up two fifties and three centuries — impressive numbers for a batsman replacing Trott’s calibre.

Unlike the Lord’s Test where he looked to fight for his runs, on an a relatively easy track at Southampton, Ballance infused the much needed flow to the England innings which could otherwise have crawled to 200 at stumps with Alastair Cook still bearing a satisfied smile. The 24-year-old left-hander cut and drove at ease while the man at the other end was waging a battle to survive as long as he can.

This century was more about an easier track where the Indian pacers bowled to his strengths more often. He was at comfort facing short balls. Despite all this, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that Ballance has shown notable weakness to deliveries that go across him from a good length or are a bit overpitched. This Indian pace attack, as seen from the previous two matches has the ability to collectively nag you down. But the scenario can be different when Ballance faces much quicker bowlers.

Not your typical left-hander, but Gary Ballance is mighty effective © Getty Images
Not your typical left-hander, but Gary Ballance is mighty effective © Getty Images

Ballance isn’t your typical left-hander though, who generally are graceful and classy. He is more of an accumulator but possesses the ability to switch in to an aggressive mood conveniently. He showed it during his 90s at Lord’s and even here.

One of the challenges which Ballance has succeeded in is the ability to steady the innings early on. Ballance has almost been like an opener with Alastair Cook being the usual wicket within the first 10-15 overs of the innings. And as of now, Sam Robson hasn’t looked steady either. England could’ve easily plunged into more misery if the new No 3 had failed to click. But the Yorkshire batsman has presented the patience required at that batting position which is evident from the Lord’s and Southampton innings.

Undoubtedly, Ballance has the temperament to play the big innings. With the pitch not playing any tricks, and Ballance being adept against this pace attack, he will surely be aiming for a big one on Day Two.

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Central Zone 68/0 at Lunch; trail by 35 runs

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner to keep wickets after Brad Haddin injures shoulder

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Ali Murtaza, Piyush Chawla run amok on South; CZ trail by 35 runs at Lunch

Jesse Ryder gets World Cup 2015 lifeline; picked for New Zealand A squad to tour UAE

Andy Roberts wants WICB to investigate cause for India tour call-off

N Srinivasan praises Nepal, Uganda for making ICC World Cricket League Division 2 cut

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Is Shah Rukh Khan giving Aamir Khan sleepless nights?

Kaka to play for Orlando City in friendly match against Flamengo

Rihanna donates USD 135,000 to charity

Diet Tip #38: Choose whole wheat flour over white flour

How to sterilise your baby’s feeding bottle in 5 easy steps

Apple replaces user’s iPad for free after NASA rocket mishap

Android creator Andy Rubin is leaving Google to start a hardware startup incubator

Jennifer Lopez: “I’ve felt abused in one way or another”

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here