England vs India fifth Test: Gary Ballance praises Joe Root as England's standout star through the summer following latest salvage

Root dug deep to prevent England suffering another batting collapse

The Oval

Gary Ballance has hailed the efforts of Joe Root on a day when the two Yorkshire teammates helped put England in a commanding position in the fifth Test against India at The Oval.

England’s number three made a patient 64 in a third-wicket stand of 125 with Alastair Cook, meaning only three Englishmen have made more runs after their first seven Tests, although he was frustrated to squander a glorious opportunity to make his fourth hundred of the summer.

However a middle-order collapse threatened to undo much of the 24-year-old’s good work until Joe Root and Jos Buttler combined to truly take the game away from India in the eyes of Ballance and surely all but the most partisan of Indian supporters.

“We had a bit of a wobble, a bit of a collapse, which is not ideal, but earlier on in the summer it could have been an eight or nine wicket collapse,” said Ballance. “So it was great the way Rooty and Jos counterattacked at the end there and really put us in a strong position.

 

“Joe’s played very positively. He started quite slow, he was patient and got used to the pace of the wicket but then he was very positive and after that he looked to score. That’s what he’s done all summer.”

It has been an excellent summer for Ballance, although he conceded that on an increasingly flat pitch he perhaps missed a golden chance to bring up a century.

“I’m very disappointed to get out when I did, I thought I had a good chance to get a hundred there. But on a personal level I think the summer has gone very well. I got a few nice hundreds and a few decent fifties so I’m very, very happy with the way it’s gone and hopefully I can build on that for the rest of the season,” he added.

The decision, made at the start of the summer, that the 24-year-old would bat at number three, was seen by some as an odd one, but Ballance now feels he has gone some way towards answering his critics and filling the void left by Jonathan Trott.

“I hadn’t batted there much before but I’ve had a few goes this summer and I’ve been making scores and I feel quite good and happy there,” he said. “But Trotty’s shoes are massive to fill. He did so well there over five or six years, he scored huge runs and it’s going to be tough to fill his shoes, but hopefully I can look at what he did well and try to replicate that.”

From Peter Moores’ point-of-view, Ballance’s introduction to the side could scarcely have been more seamless, something the left-hander was moved to credit his fellow county mate Root for.

“I saw how he started his career and he got some good scores early on and he gave me loads of advice when I came into the team and over the summer,” said Ballance. “To watch how he’s handled himself after a tough tour in Australia and come back this summer and scored big, big runs and when the team need him, that just shows a quality player and it’s good for a new guy coming in to see that.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific