Is Joe Root brave enough to bowl Gary Ballance?

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Joe Root (via Channel 5)

The great tragedy of England’s six-man bowling attack is that Gary Ballance never gets to bowl. We reckon that Joe Root and Keaton Jennings are likely to get on before him as well, so realistically he’s ninth choice. England will need to have an extraordinarily bad day before we see his right-arm filth get another airing.

There was a moment when the ball had softened when we started to dream, but England plugged away, aided by Hashim Amla who tried really hard to get caught hooking and eventually managed it.

309-6 is the kind of score that makes someone like Graeme Smith say “it’s been a riveting day of Test cricket.” It isn’t the kind of score where he’d say “you might as well get Ballance on – what have you got to lose?”

We want England to do well, but we also want to see Gary Ballance bowl. It’s a very difficult situation for us. The only solution that we can see is Joe Root developing a taste for funky captaincy.

Bringing Gary Ballance on first change would be Sly-and-the-Family-Stone-with-a-guest-appearance-by-Bootsy-Collins funky.


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  1. Keaton Jennings seemed to be rather okay with his dobble. Nowhere near Ballance, but I can’t be the only one who wants to see him given the new ball, can I?

  2. Ballance (until now) hasn’t bowled much in first class cricket regardless of the precise composition of the bowling attack.

    He has bowled 9 times in 128 first class matches; in total 162 balls conceding 154 runs. Currently he remains wicketless.

    My personal funky bowling highlight was seeing Middlesex bowl Ed Joyce, Nick Compton, Ed Smith and even David “Knocker” Nash (the keeper)…the last three of whom all took wickets with their filth. Knocker’s wicket was, ironically, a stumping, executed by a young Eoin Morgan, who donned the gloves for Knocker’s short but sweet spell:

    When he wasn’t partaking of the funky declaration bowling, Ed Joyce was prowling the outfield whinging about how much he hated the whole concept of setting a target with declaration bowling. “I have to work so hard for my runs when we’re playing properly, it breaks my heart to just give runs away like this”, was the gist of his argument. Happy days.

    1. Can’t beat rooting of such high quality. Newspaper subeditors must have been delighted with the last few choices of England captain.

  3. Now that he’s no longer skipper, surely it’s time for Cook to turn his arm over again. There can’t be many bowlers with a test average of 7. The guy’s an inspiration for trundlers and filth merchants everywhere.

  4. Anderson showing a real disregard for Ballance by taking all those wickets this morning.

    The Zimbabwe – Sri Lanka Test is turning into a bit of a thriller. Shame it’s a one-off eh?

    1. Nice to see Zim doing well, though they didn’t really get through the Sri Lankan tail in the way they’d have liked and could still turn into a thrashing by the fourth innings. I suspect we will be seeing lots of one-off Tests in the future, between between the non “box office” countries.

      1. Sadly I think you could be correct on both counts, although as I type this Zimbabwe look like they are avoiding a thrashing.

  5. Listening to the Test today reminded me of drIving down the A11 about 15 years ago with TMS on longwave. In a soporific state I missed my junction by miles, only realising when I ended up at Red Lodge, which is a bit like Paris Texas but without the soundtrack.

    1. Never even heard of Red Lodge. What a beautiful description. We must pay a visit.

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