Home > News >

England vs Sri Lanka 2014: Gary Ballance to bat at No 3 spot

Gary Ballance is one of the players to watch out for in England's revamped setup © Getty Images
Gary Ballance is one of the players to watch out for in England’s revamped setup © Getty Images

London: June 11, 2014

Yorkshire‘s Gary Ballance is set to bat in England‘s problem position of number three in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on Thursday.

England captain Alastair Cook said the Zimbabwe-born left-hander would come in at first wicket down when speaking to reporters at Lord’s on Wednesday.

When Ballance made his debut during England’s last Test, a 281-run defeat by Australia in Sydney in January that capped a 5-0 Ashes series loss, the 24-year-old batted at six in the first innings due to a nightwatchman and five in the second knock.

Ballance made just 25 runs in the match but, with longtime number three Jonathan Trott in the early stages of his second ‘comeback’ to cricket following the stress-related illness that led him to leave the Ashes early, England have decided the novice batsman is the right man to fill a key spot in the top order.

Ian Bell, a longstanding Warwickshire colleague of Trott and a veteran of 98 Tests, will bat in the number four slot that was Kevin Pietersen’s until England controversially decided to ditch their all-time leading run-scorer in all formats after returning from Australia.

Although the changes had been widely speculated upon the fact Cook — who will open alongside Australia-born debutant Sam Robson — confirmed them a day before a game was indicative of England coach Peter Moores’s desire to run a more ‘open’ set-up than existed under Andy Flower, who quit his post after the Ashes debacle.

Asked where Ballance would bat, Cook said: “Gary will bat at three, Belly at four, Rooty [Joe Root] at five and Mo (Moeen Ali) at six.”

As well as revealing his top order, Cook all but confirmed the composition of the team with all-rounder Chris Woakes set to be dropped from a 12-man squad.

- ‘Hard cricket’ -

Meanwhile Cook insisted he’d come to terms with the controversial run-out backing up of England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler by bowler Sachithra Senanayake during Sri Lanka’s 3-2 one-day series-clinching win at Edgbaston.

It was a perfectly legal, if rare, form of dismissal and Sri Lanka had gone beyond what was required of them by cricket’s rulebook by warning Buttler of the risk he was running in leaving his ground early.

Yet in the view of some it was still against the ‘spirit of cricket’ for Buttler to be given out in this way.

“Both sides will play a particularly hard game of cricket, but we have a responsibility to do it in the right way,” Cook said.

“What happened last week…I was quite emotive about it, but I’ve settled a bit.

“It was frustrating at the time and it still is…but he [Senanayake] was in his right to do it. The bottom line is you can’t really argue against it.”

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews refused to withdraw the appeal during the match and he was in defiant mood when once more questioned on the incident on Wednesday.

“Buttler was warned a few times,” said Mathews, whose side had nearly been beaten in the fourth ODI at Lord’s as a result of a blistering hundred by the keeper.

“He was backing away [backing up] and we did nothing about [that], but we couldn’t let him do that every game.

“We warned him twice.”

The all-rounder added: “There is a law and if you’re going to judge the captain of the other team (for using it) there shouldn’t be a law; if that’s the case it should be taken out.

“We played within the rules and stuck to the spirit of cricket, but we shouldn’t let anyone take advantage of us.”

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014 (18:30 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

More

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 9 wkts

Photos

Highlights of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

West Indies vs Bangladesh Live Cricket Score, 1st ODI at St George’s: West Indies five down for 34

Len Pascoe: There was a hospital ward named after Thomson and me

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 5 ways India can avoid another overseas embarrassment

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Ravi Shastri inspired confidence as player and captain: Will he do it in a coaching capacity?

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014

India vs England 2014: Duncan Fletcher, Joe Daws conduct practice at Lord’s ahead of ODI series

HPCA saga: High Court gives government 10 days to reply to writ petition

Bangladesh tour of West Indies 2014: Anamul Haque’s ton helps Bangladesh to reach 217 for nine

West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014: St Vincent gets ready to host Test match

Singapore Cricket Club hosts International T20 tournament featuring Cricket Club of India among others

Len Pascoe: There was a hospital ward named after Thomson and me

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 5 ways India can avoid another overseas embarrassment

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Ravi Shastri inspired confidence as player and captain: Will he do it in a coaching capacity?

Bernard Tancred: Best batsman of the first South African side

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

659 Posts | 6 Fans

India tour of England 2014: Sunil Gavaskar says Indian batsmen did not learn anything

Connect Broadband launches virus control system

How much money has the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised till now?

Hrithik Roshan will not romance Jacqueline Fernandez

OnePlus starts hiring in India ahead of launch

Vidya Balan gets caught while watching Salman Khan’s Kick in disguise!

Ebola in Liberia: Ebola quarantine zone turns violent as soldiers open fire

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here