I’m ready to make my Test debut, says Gary Ballance

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

“I’ve given myself that bit of confidence so that, if I do get picked (for the second Test), I think I’ll be ready”

England batsman Gary Ballance has announced that he is ready to make his Test debut after scoring a magnificent half-century in the two-day warm-up match against the Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs.

Ballance, who was born in Zimbabwe, is hoping that the national selectors decide to pick him for the second Test in Adelaide after batsman Jonathan Trott returned home with a stress-related illness.

“It would have been nice to push on and get a hundred…but I’ve given myself that bit of confidence so that, if I do get picked (for the second Test), I think I’ll be ready,” Ballance said. “It’d be a great feeling (to make a Test debut). But I don’t want to look too far ahead.”

Ballance took nearly three and a half hours to score his 55, but believes it was worth it as he became more accustomed to the Australian conditions.

“It might affect you a little bit,” he said. “That’s how it works in cricket – after a few low scores, you kind of take a bit of time to get used to the situation.

“But once I’d batted for a few overs, I felt a bit more comfortable – like it was any other innings.”

Ballance’s inclusion in the Ashes squad definitely raised an eyebrow or two, but the Zimbabwean-born batsman does boast an average of 53.33 in first-class cricket.

“It’s obviously frustrating not getting scores, after the decent season I had in England,” he added. “But I knew if I worked hard in the nets and had the opportunity, I could score some runs.

“It might be a little bit of a relief, but you’re going to go through patches where you get a few low scores.

“I (still) felt confident coming into the game.”

The 24-year-old was eventually run out when there was a lapse in communication between him and stand-in captain Ian Bell.

“You’ve just got to take it as any other game, especially with not having much time in the middle since I’ve been here,” Ballance said. “The new ball did a bit, and they bowled well and got the ball to seam a bit.

“Once the ball got a bit softer, it became a lot better to bat on.

“Just to be able to bat for a few hours out in the middle gives me some confidence.”

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