Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England batsman Gary Ballance believes the national team still have a lot of work to do despite building a 237-run lead over India on the second day of the fifth Test at The Oval.
When asked if India were pretty much down and out, Ballance told Sky Sports: “I don’t think so yet. It’s Test cricket, it’s tough. You’re not going to win a Test in two days but we (want) another good day tomorrow, try and score as many as we can and then bowl well in the third innings.”
“It’s been a great day. Yesterday went well but we still had to bat well on a pitch that was doing a bit. It’s great that we’ve batted well, batted all day and given ourselves a good lead.”
However, Ballance admitted that he was disappointed not to register yet another Test century. Ballance was dismissed for 64 when he was gifted a catch to Cheteshwar Pujara at silly point off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.
“It was disappointing to be honest,” he said. “I felt like I was going nicely there. It just bounced a bit and I played at a ball that I shouldn’t have. But that’s how it goes, you’ve got to learn from it and move on.”
But, Ballance shouldn’t feel too bad about his error since he has scored 503 runs in this series at a spectacular average of 71.85.
“I started the season feeling quite good, started the County Championship quite well and I’ve just pulled the form in,” he said. “It’s nice to get a few good scores and put the team into a good position.
“When you’re in form, you’ve got to work as hard as you do as when you’re out of form. It doesn’t come around often and you’ve got to be as greedy as you can and try and score as many runs as you can when you’re batting well.”
Ballance also lauded batsman Joe Root for his unbeaten 92. Root stabilised England’s innings after India picked up a couple of quick wickets after the lunch break.
“It’s just the way Rooty’s been playing,” he said. “We lost a few wickets and he decided to try and put the bowlers under pressure and he did that very well. He scored quickly and he’s put us in a great position.”