England v India 2014 - Gary Ballance - Joe Root, Jos Buttler put us in strong position | gocricket.com

Ballance: Root, Buttler put us in strong position

17 Aug 2014, 1027 hrs IST,  PTI  
Ballance: Root, Buttler put us in strong position
Buttler and Root launched a counter-attack after England lost three quick wickets for 13 runs.
London: England batsman Gary Ballance on Saturday rued at not completing another hundred against India in the fifth and final Test while praising team-mate Joe Root for countering the visitors' efforts on day two. The hosts finished 237 runs ahead at stumps, replying to India's first innings total of 148 with 385 for 7.

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"I felt good out there and I am very disappointed that I could not get the hundred today. I was disappointed with the way I got out and should have gone on to bat longer. But I guess that delivery bounced a bit more and I should not have played at it," said Ballance, who was dismissed for 64 runs, at the press conference after the day's play.

"But international sport is tough but I feel much more confident after how this summer has shaped up. I feel I can do a decent job at number three for England and kick on from the chances that I have been given so far," he said.

England lost track a bit after lunch as they went from 191/1 to 204/4, with Ballance among the batsmen dismissed. It appeared as if India were making a comeback in the game before Root stopped them with an unbeaten 92.

"After lunch, Varun Aaron changed ends and bowled well to us. He changed the angles and came round the wicket as well as over the wicket. R Ashwin bowled well and got a couple wickets as well. But the way Root and [Jos] Buttler counter-attacked was brilliant and that really put us in a strong position towards the end of the day," said Ballance.

"There was a bit of collapse and it was not ideal. But things could have been worse, it could have been 8-9 wickets but only four wickets went down," he added.

After adding 80 runs with Buttler for the sixth wicket, Root added another 67 unbeaten runs with Chris Jordan towards the end of the day's play, taking England's lead past 200 runs and putting them in a commanding position.

"The Indian bowlers might be a little disappointed. They ran in all day on a pitch that is getting flatter. The way they ran in all day was a credit to them especially their seamers. They hit good areas but the way Root played and counter-attacked, he could play freely as they got tired," said the batsman.

"Aaron ran in all day long and bowled in the 80-plus mark. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also did the same, he can move the ball both ways. Ashwin is a different bowler from Ravindra Jadeja and they are both very difficult to score off. Overall, I think Indian bowling has done well," he said.

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India fight back but England still on top

Overnight batsman Sam Robson could add just four to his total on Day 2 before being bowled by Varun Aaron for 37.
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Despite beating Alastair Cook's bat on more than one occasion, Ishant Sharma remained luckless in the morning session.
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Gary Ballance's four off the last ball before lunch helped England level the score.
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Cook moved to his 38th fifty with a nice cut off Ravichandran Ashwin as England reached 148/1 at lunch.
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Ballance scored a fluent 64 off 117 balls before being dismissed by Ashwin.
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Ishant got his first wicket of the match when he snared Ian Bell for 7 off 16 balls.
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Moeen Ali was Ashwin's second victim of the day. Ali scored 14 off 24 before edging it on to his stumps.
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The second session belonged to India as they took four wickets, reducing England to 246/5 at tea.
In the final session, Joe Root helped add 80 for the sixth wicket with Jos Buttler.
Ishant was rewarded for his perseverance when he got rid of Buttler after the batsman had scored 45 off 73 balls.
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Root became only the third England batsman to score a fifty in every Test of a five-match series.
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A 67-run eighth-wicket stand between Root and Chris Jordan took England to 385/7 at stumps, a lead of 237.
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