Ashes: England's Gary Ballance confident he can perform in the second Test in Adelaide
Last Updated: 29/11/13 5:57pm
Gary Ballance: Notched half-cenury to boost his chances of call-up
England batsman Gary Ballance is confident he will be ready for a Test debut next week if called upon in Adelaide.
Zimbabwe-born Ballance top-scored on day one of two against a Chairman's XI as England at least inched above 200 - more than they managed in either innings of their trouncing in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
The Yorkshire left-hander cashed in on his chance to impress at number three, hitting 55 before being run out, as England mustered a workmanlike 212-7 declared at Traeger Park.
With the tourists weighing up their options on who should replace Jonathan Trott - whose tour was cut short by a stress-related illness - for the second Test, Ballance was pleased to give a timely hint of his abilities and believes he will be ready for action if given the nod.
He said: "It would have been nice to push on and get a hundred ... but I've given myself that bit of confidence so that, if I do get picked (for the second Test), I think I'll be ready.
"It'd be a great feeling (to make a Test debut). But I don't want to look too far ahead."
His near three-hour half-century in Alice Springs was hard earned as the home attack found plenty of early movement after putting the tourists in on a typically sweltering day.
It put behind him a dispiriting sequence of nought, nought and four in his only previous innings for England.
Ballance won admirers among the England management even during that miserable start, which began in Ireland last summer and then continued on tour Down Under, because his confidence did not appear to dip.
"It might affect you a little bit," he said.
"That's how it works in cricket - after a few low scores, you kind of take a bit of time to get used to the situation.
"But once I'd batted for a few overs, I felt a bit more comfortable - like it was any other innings."
Ballance's selection for this Ashes tour surprised some, but he could point to an impressive first-class average in excess of 50 after 67 matches.
"It's obviously frustrating not getting scores, after the decent season I had in England.
"But I knew if I worked hard in the nets and had the opportunity, I could score some runs.
"It might be a little bit of a relief, but you're going to go through patches where you get a few low scores.
"I (still) felt confident coming into the game."
Ballance, eventually run out after a mix-up with stand-in captain Ian Bell, could have been forgiven early nerves.
But he said: "You've just got to take it as any other game, especially with not having much time in the middle since I've been here.
"The new ball did a bit, and they bowled well and got the ball to seam a bit.
"Once the ball got a bit softer, it became a lot better to bat on.
"Just to be able to bat for a few hours out in the middle gives me some confidence."
The second Test in Adelaide will be shown live on Sky Sports 2 HD from December 5.