Ballance turns to Root for Bangladesh spin tips
CHITTAGONG: Batsman Gary Ballance said Thursday he had turned to teammate Joe Root for advice on how to counter an expected barrage of spin when England begin their Test series in Bangladesh next week.
Ballance was picked for the Bangladesh tour despite a disappointing recent home series against Pakistan when he averaged a modest 27.85 over the course of the four Tests and scored a solitary half-century.
The hosts are expected to test the Zimbabwe-born Ballance’s technique on pitches that traditionally help the spinners.
“There’s going to be a lot of spin. I think we know that,” Ballance told reporters in Chittagong which is to host the first Test from October 20.
“I’ve done a few weeks before we came out facing a lot of spin. I know my method now.
“I’ve just got to put it into the games and if I can get a decent score early on, it gives you so much confidence for the rest of the trip.”
Ballance said he had taken tips from England’s star batsman Root and Dave Houghton, the former Zimbabwe captain who is now the batting coach of the new English county champions Middlesex.
“Just watching the way he plays and just talking to him about it is good. He’s one of the best around at playing spin,” Ballance said of Root, who has been included in the Test squad after sitting out the just-concluded ODI series.
“He’s got his way of playing and it’s been successful.”
Ballance expressed his frustration at not scoring more runs against Pakistan but added that he was not losing sleep over it.
“I thought I wasn’t out of place, I felt good in most innings. It would have been nice to kick on and get a big score to cement myself in that middle order,” he said.
“I took a lot of positives from that experience and I can definitely build on that.
“If you keep thinking ‘I’ve got to score runs to stay in the side’… you can’t think like that, you’ve just got to play each day as it comes, play the situation of the game.”
England, who defeated Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series 2-1, will play two two-day warm-up fixtures in next four days as part of their preparation for the Test series.