27-Year-Old Batsman England Nickname: Gazza
July 20, 2017 Gary Ballance News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Ballance has been ruled out of the third Test between England and South Africa.
After just returning to England's Test set-up the Yorkshire batsman will once again be on the sidelines after a broken finger diagnosis was confirmed by a hand surgeon. The 27-year-old batsman suffered the injury after being hit by a short ball from Morne Morkel on the final day of the second Test. His return to the top level hasn't been a resounding success, with scores of 20, 34, 27, and four. England named Essex batsman Tom Westley as his replacement for the third match though he may be available for selection for the following match.
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Fantasy AnalysisBallance was given another shot at Test cricket by his Yorkshire turned England Captain Joe Root but failed to make the most of it in his first innings back. The 27-year-old batsman faced 41 balls before he was sent packing by South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel. The Zimbabwe-born batsman was given out lbw after he was hit in front of middle stump but reviewed the decision anyway. Ball tracking wasn't on his side and he was forced to go after no evidence was found to save him.
Fantasy AnalysisIn his latest Test appearance, or as most would have thought his last, Ballance scored just nine and five, He scored 24 runs overall in England's two-Test series against Bangladesh. However, the 27-year-old has been in magnificent form in 2017, average over 100 runs in the County Championship. In April the batsman had a stunning game, smashing 108 and 203 not out when Yorkshire took on Hampshire. "Yorkshire's Gary Ballance could play his first Test since October. He has been in fantastic touch with the bat in the Championship averaging over 100. He deserves to be included and we feel that he will add maturity and experience to our middle-order," said national selector James Whitaker.
Fantasy AnalysisThe 26-year-old batsman was one of six dismissed by offspinner Mehedi Hasan. Offering an aggressive shot to a bad ball, Ballance skyed a simple catch to Tamim Iqbal at mid-off. He ended his dreadful tour of Bangladesh with only 24 runs in four innings. The first Test of the series against India starts in just 10 days, England may give Ballance one more chance before opting for 19-year-old Haseeb Hameed.
Fantasy AnalysisScoring one run in the first innings and nine in the second, Ballance's first Test in Bangladesh is going rather badly. The Zimbabwean born batsman has only crossed double figures once in his last four innings, 17 runs in the second innings against Pakistan at The Oval. Ballance fell victim to a leg-side trap, sweeping a ball directly into the hands of Imrul Kayes at leg-slip
Fantasy AnalysisThe Test batsman played in all four of England's Tests against Pakistan, but mustered just one half-century in seven innings and failed to break a dozen in multiple innings. While he did notch one century, his return to county cricket has been far from successful, typified by his paltry run total. With Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan withdrawing from the side, Ballance will likely be included in the two-Test series in Bangladesh, but needs to regain form ahead of their five-match tour of India.
Fantasy AnalysisPressure was put on Ballance as, although England didn't look to be in trouble, they clearly need some scores of substance to make it a passable first innings total. The partnership between Ballance and Moeen Ali did so, with both batsman making half-centuries (70 and 63, respectively). The sixth wicket stand pushed the home side forward to an eventual total of 297 all out at the close of the first day.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter just 33 runs from the first three batsmen and needing 283 on the chase, Ballance formed a pair of strong partnerships, scoring 49 with James Vince and 39 more with Johnny Bairstow before being bowled out with England on 135. A surprise selection who was dealing with a groin injury coming into the Test, Ballance validated his selection with a strong run in the crease, even if it was in a losing effort. With a career Test average of 46.03, Ballance seems to have worked his way into the middle of the English batting lineup for the series.
Fantasy AnalysisA surprise selection for the aforementioned Test, Ballance was in form before picking up the ailment, notching 132 in the first innings against championship leader Middlesex early in the week. He followed up that performance with 33 against Warwickshire in a T20 on Friday, but he took a turn for the worse in the interim. Ballance has mere days to regain a semblance of health with the Test starting Thursday at Lord's.
Fantasy AnalysisFollowing being dropped during the Ashes, Ballance's future England career hung in the balance, but because of Nick Compton's decision to take a break from the game, Ballance has been given another chance to prove himself against the red ball. Ballance, who averages 33.64 in the championship and recently hit his first century of the season for Middlesex, faced strong competition for the spot from Scott Borthwick, who averages 58.50, but got the call-up from England coach Trevor Bayliss.
Fantasy AnalysisBallance was a surprise selection to England's playing XI in their World Cup opener, but his inability to cobble together even modest results forced a change for the final two games of the tournament. In four appearances, he recorded a top score of 10 on his way to a disastrous 9.00 average and 50.70 strike rate. In the meantime, he's participated in all five Tests against the West Indies and New Zealand, tallying one century and two 50s along the way. While he takes a break from ODIs, national selector James Whitaker mentioned that Ballance hasn't "been ruled out of playing a role for England in limited-overs formats in the future."
Fantasy AnalysisIn the moments before opening the tournament against Australia at MCG, Ballance replaced Ravi Bopara at No. 3, which was seemingly on the basis of the former's 57 off 81 in a warmup match against Pakistan. However, Ballance responded with no more than 10 runs in any fixture, before Alex Hales replaced him at the top of the order for the final two games. Ballance will next represent England during the upcoming Test series in the West Indies, which starts on Apr. 13.
Fantasy AnalysisBallance replaced Ravi Bopara in England's primary XI before the World Cup commenced, but the former has yet to produce profitable innings through three games. Lasting just five muted overs before his departure, Ballance's wicket was among three to fall in the span of 11 balls, as he totaled 10 runs for a third match in a row. With a miserable 52.63 strike rate to Ballance's name, captain Eoin Morgan may ponder a switch to the order in advance of Sunday's showdown with Sri Lanka.
Fantasy AnalysisPrior to England's World Cup opener, Ballance surprisingly replaced Ravi Bopara in the order. The move was on the heels of Ballance's half-century in a warmup against Pakistan, when he racked up 57 off 81. However, he has mustered back-to-back 10-run outings with a 51.28 strike rate to start the tournament, which may force captain Eoin Morgan to consider a lineup change for Monday's match versus Scotland.
Fantasy AnalysisDespite having just 12 ODIs under his belt, the batsman and his career 70.16 strike rate will enter in place of Ravi Bopara. Although Ballance hasn't made an official international appearance since Sept. 2, he contributed 57 off 81 in Wednesday's warmup against Pakistan.