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)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Key Battles

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Cape Cobras vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 — Highlights

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions

Gautam Gambhir is a very good captain: Ryan ten Doeschate

Former England, South Africa cricketers part of team to play world’s highest game

CLT20 2014: In-form Northern Knights face upbeat Hobart Hurricanes

CLT20 2014: KKR look to do well in atleast two departments, says Suryakumar Yadav

Michael Clarke dismisses suggestions of quitting one-day cricket

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Key Battles

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Jalaluddin takes first ODI hat-trick

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

670 Posts | 6 Fans

CLT20 2014: Kings Xi Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, final over

From champions of the Asian Games to doping cheats — a quick history of athletes convicted of doping at Asian Games

Mars Orbiter Mission: Importance of ISRO’s short test

3 signs that told us why Tanishaa Mukerji and Armaan Kohli’s relationship wasn’t meant to be!

Hrithik Roshan has a dozen Hollywood scripts waiting in the pipeline!

Reliance Jio signs tower sharing deal with Indus Towers

Smartphones to account for two third of worlds market by 2020

EPL 2014: 3 reasons why Chelsea should buy-back Frank Lampard

How sugar affects your beauty

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here