Ballance: If I do get picked, I think I'll be ready

England

Batsman Gary Ballance ended a short string of low scores to form the backbone of England's total on day one of a key two-day tour fixture against the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI.

Batsman Gary Ballance ended a short string of low scores to form the backbone of England's total on day one of a key two-day tour fixture against the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI.

Out for a duck against the Western Australia Chairman's XI in Perth and just four versus Australia A in Hobart, Ballance enjoyed a solid turnaround en route to a patient 55 at Traeger Park in Alice Springs on Friday.

His half-century was the top score in a disappointing total of 212 for seven declared, after which the hosts' replied with 16 without loss.

The commanding vigil largely enhanced the talented left-hander's chances of replacing the right-handed Jonathan Trott, who has left the tour due to a stress-related illness, in the Test XI.

"It would have been nice to push on and get a ton, but I've given myself that bit of confidence so that, if I do get picked, I think I'll be ready. It'd be a great feeling to make a Test debut. But I don't want to look too far ahead," said Ballance.

"It's obviously frustrating not getting scores, after the decent season I had in England. 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.

"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."

The 24-year-old Ballance's stay was ended in the wake of some poor communication with captain Ian Bell, who is leading the side in the absence of the rested Alastair Cook, which resulted in a run-out.

"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. The new ball did a bit, and they bowled well and got the ball to seam a bit," he added.

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