Ballance happy to grind out his runs

Australia

England batsman Gary Ballance is happy to grind out his runs while the other more flashy batsmen flourish and score their runs in a more attacking manner.

Ballance battled at the crease but scored vital runs in the first innings of the first Ashes Test against Australia which England won inside four days.

After England found themselves in trouble at 42 for three, Ballance, who batted at number three, and Yorkshire teammate Joe Root shared in a vital 153-run stand that ultimately led to England scoring 430 all out and set the match up in their favour.

While Root counter-attacked and scored a fluent century, Ballance battled hard to hit a vital 61 off 149 balls and spending 223 minutes at the crease.

Ballance told ecb.co.uk: "Rooty made it look easy out there and I had to battle through – sometimes that's how it is. Sometimes you've got to score the hard runs but I'm happy with that and take a few blows on the body.

"It's just good to get a score in the game and hopefully set myself up for the series. We ground it out and to get a 60 in the first innings of a series was quite important for me and, as a team, the partnership was good and Rooty ended up getting a hundred which gave us that big first-innings score."

The Zimbabwe-born left-hander is hoping England can take the momentum from their victory in Cardiff and carry it into the rest of the five-match series.

Ballance continued: "We've put in a great performance and to get a win here is brilliant and we can take the momentum into Lord's. It was important to start well.

"We needed to start well to get a bit of momentum going through the rest of the series so to go 1-0 up is always good. It's a five-match series and we're going to have to kick on from here and hopefully we can start well at Lord's."

The second Test starts at Lord's on Thursday.

Latest