The Ashes 2017-18: Gary Ballance Looks Forward To Justifying His Spot
England announced their squad for The Ashes on Wednesday to be played Down Under. The selectors have picked Gary Ballance, James Vince and Dawid Malan as contenders for middle-order spots. Mark Stoneman also managed to cut impressing the selectors in the series against South Africa and West Indies. England has also picked three uncapped players Craig Overton, Ben Foakes and Mason Crane.
Gary Ballance said that he is very excited to play for England in the Ashes and wants to prove the selectors right by performing well in the series. He will be fighting for the middle-order spot against two contenders, James Vince and Dawid Malan. England will play three warm-up games before the first Test match at Brisbane on 23rd November. Ballance is delighted to be picked in the squad and said:
“I’ll work as hard as I can to prove the selectors right.”
Ballance last played against South Africa before a ball from Morne Morkel broke his finger. He played the first two Tests and had struggled to make the cut then.
“I’m delighted to be in the squad, it’s a huge honour to go on an Ashes tour. I’ve been on one before, my first tour with England (in 2013/14). I made my debut at Sydney, and it was a great experience apart from the result. Now that I’ve played a few more games and have a bit more experience, I can’t wait for the challenge.”
Ballance has scored 951 runs in this year’s county championship which includes a top score of 203 not out. He was surprised on being picked for the series. He said:
“I was a bit surprised, although I had a feeling there was a decent chance of me getting the call. I’m not the kind of bloke who will say ‘I’m definitely going to be in. But it’s always good news to get the phone call because I’ve certainly been on the end of some bad news. It will be a massive challenge, probably one of the biggest I will face as a cricketer. I love a challenge and can’t wait. “I’m going to work as hard as ever. I’m going to have a week off now and then work as hard as I can. When I do go to Oz, I’ll be ready to perform.”
He concluded by saying:
“I’ve batted everywhere in the last few years. To be honest, I just want to play. Wherever I bat, I’ll be happy, I’ve played a lot of cricket with Jonny and Joe, but I’ve played a lot of cricket with most of the guys. It will be nice that it won’t be too new for me. It’s nice to go into a series with some familiar faces.”
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