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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory