Ballance used negative press as motivation

England

England centurion Gary Ballance scored his second century at Lord's in as many matches on Friday, keeping England in the hunt in the second Test against India after they lost some cheap wickets.

England centurion Gary Ballance scored his second century at Lord's in as many matches on Friday, keeping England in the hunt in the second Test against India after they lost some cheap wickets.

Ballance, batting at three, made 110 as England reached stumps on 219 for six, chasing the 295 India made. The Zimbabwe-born player said he knew he had to scrap for the runs, and didn't care if it looked pretty or exciting.

Ballance said: "I just thought 'I've got to scrap hard here. I thought it's probably not going to be pretty or very exciting to watch. But at the end of the day, it's about doing a job. I tried to be patient.

"I knew I was going to play and miss, so tried to leave as much as I could and just wait for anything with a bit of width or anything too straight. Luckily, I fought hard, got an edge through the slips early on, and it's paid off, being patient."

Ballance went on to discuss his now-infamous naked torso, caught on camera after the first Test in Nottingham when out on the town and a few beers into the evening. He said he used the attention as a motivator to do well.

Ballance said: "I didn't see it coming, it was a bit embarrassing. I was probably a bit naive, but I didn't really break any rules. I was just having fun after a Test match. But I'll learn from that, and probably won't do it again.

"It's been an interesting week. I didn't really expect it, but it's nice to score some runs and put us back in a decent position.

"I felt a bit of pressure turning up on day one, with what happened. But everyone around me was very supportive: the coaches, all the players, my family were backing me and saying 'mistakes happen; you've got to learn from it and move on'.

"Luckily I took a catch in the third or fourth over and that calmed me down a lot."

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