England’s new batting talent Gary Ballance has surfaced a setback very early in his career. He has been dropped after having played just 15 Tests, and has been replaced by Jonny Bairstow for the third Test at Edgbaston. He has a fairly impressive record, and averages 47.76 with four hundreds. Ballance has so far scored 1194 runs with a best of 156. However, in recent times, he has really struggled to get among the runs. Here’s a look in numbers about how his career has progressed so far.
Debut: vs Australia at Sydney in January 2014: Ballance had a poor debut against the Aussies, playing away from home, He made 18 and 7 during his two visits to the crease, and was easily found out.
Ballance made amends in the very second Test he played, against Sri Lanka at Lord’s. He made 23 in the first innings, but registered his maiden Test ton in the second innings, scoring an unbeaten 104 in a drawn encounter. Ballance continued his impressive run in the next Test, against the same opponent at Leeds. He made 74 in the first essay, before getting a golden duck in the second innings. Ballance next faced India in the first Test at Trent Bridge, and made a measured 71 in the first innings, giving further proof of his obvious talent.
Ballance really came into the home in the next two Tests against the Indians. He was England’s lone centurion in the first innings, with 110. In the second innings, he was dismissed for 27 as India shocked the English at Lord’s. Ballance was at his best at the Rose Bowl. He made 156 from 288 balls to play a key role in setting up England’s victory. He was dismissed for a quick 38 in the second, as England were looking for quick runs. At Manchester, and at The Oval, England only needed to bat once, and he made 37 and 64 respectively.
Ballance’s good form continued in the series against West Indies. He made 10 and 122 in the first Test at North Sound, the latter being his fourth and final hundred till date. He batted exceedingly well at St. George’s as well, scoring half-centuries in both innings -- 77 and 81 not out. But, his run of poor form began at Bridgetown where he managed only 18 and 23 in the his two knocks.
Against the Kiwis at Lord’s, he was dismissed for 1 and a duck. The worries continued for the batsman as he managed only 29 and 6 in the next Test at Lord’s. By now, his technique had come under the scanner. He heaved a sigh of relief when he got a fighting 61 in the first Ashes Test at Cardiff, but his next three scores have been 0, 23 and 14, leading to his axe.
-- By A Cricket Analyst