Gary Ballance is in line to make his England Test debut, when the second Ashes Test gets underway next week in Adelaide, after top scoring with 55 in the tourist’s latest match against Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs.
Ballance made the most of his opportunity in the Australian outback looking solid at the crease and playing with composure and patience. He should have gone onto make a bigger score buts was unfortunately run out following a mix up in the middle with Ian Bell. With a number of players vying for the position vacated by Jonathan Trott – who has flown back to the UK because of a long-standing stress-related condition – Ballance and Johnny Bairstow, who finished on 31 not out, could both be competing to fill the gap as the competition hots up.
England declared on 212-7 with the Yorkshire top-order batsman in good form coming in at number three.
The home side reached 16-0 at the close.
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“After a few low scores, you take a bit of time to get used to the situation,” said Ballance who had scored only four runs in two previous innings on tour.
“But once I’d batted for a few overs I felt comfortable, and it was just like any other innings.
“It would have been nice to push on and get a hundred, but I’ve given myself a bit of confidence, so if I get the chance then I’ll be ready.
“It would be a great feeling to play in Adelaide but I don’t want to look too far ahead.
“If selected, I think I’ll be ready. The boys are working really hard, and we’re going to be ready for Adelaide.”