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)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Mithali Raj: India women confident ahead of ODI series against South Africa

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: England’s 2nd practice match washed out

Bangladesh bring up 100th win in international cricket

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here