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.”

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


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


India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala


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

Pat Cummins set to return for Australia during T20Is against South Africa

Shane Watson desperate to make comeback

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

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

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

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

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

Movies to watch this week: Happy New Year!

iOS 8.1 update now available bringing Camera Roll, SMS Relay, iCloud Photo library among others

IBM to pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries to buy its chip division

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: RJ Pritam solves inmates problems while Ali Quli Mirza creates more on Day 29!

आपकी दिवाली खुशनुमा, सुरक्षित और शुभ हो

सेक्स टिप # 13: महिलाओं में कामेच्छा (low libido) की समस्या

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here