Eng v Ind, 3rd Investec Test, Ageas Bowl, 1st day July 27, 2014

Ballance extends purple patch

Stats highlights from the first day of the third Investec Test at Ageas Bowl

1 Number of times that Alastair Cook has played 200-plus balls in his last 35 Test innings. His 231-ball effort on Sunday was also the first time that he had played 100 balls in 13 innings.

2 Number of times that England have lost a Test series when their No.3 batsman has scored two hundreds in that series - once to India and the other to Australia. When Gary Ballance reached his hundred, it was the 28th instance of an English No.3 batsman scoring two hundreds in a series. The last England No.3 batsman to score at least two centuries in a series was Ian Bell, during India's disastrous tour in 2011.

3 Number of times in the last 65 Test innings that opposition teams have posted 100-plus runs for the second wicket against India. England have been the opposition on all three occasions.

4 Number of players before the start of the day's play who were above Cook on the all-time list of Test runs scored by an English batsman. During his 95, Cook leapfrogged Kevin Pietersen as well as David Gower to go third on that list, and is now only behind Graham Gooch and Alec Stewart.

6 Number of times that Cook has been dismissed in the 90s during his Test career. All six dismissals have been between the scores of 94 and 96 - once on 96, twice on 95 and thrice on 94. His dismissal for 95 on Sunday, though, was his first in the 90s as England captain.

7 England's run-rate against full bowling during the day. England scored 43 runs off 35 balls against full bowling (7.37) and 65 runs off 45 balls against short bowling (8.66). When the bowling was at a length, or short of good length, England scored only 134 runs off 456 balls, at a run-rate of 1.76.

9 Number of Test innings between England's opening partnership of 55 in this innings, and the last instance of an English opening pair posting 50-plus runs. England's average score for the opening wicket in 2014 is 25.90. They only average lesser for their fourth and ninth wickets this year.

67.25 Ballance's batting average, which is the joint highest for an England batsman at the age of 24 (minimum five Tests). The other English player to have an identical average at that age was Len Hutton. Ballance also became the second-highest run-scorer in this series and is only five runs short of Murali Vijay who has made 317 runs.

300 Number of first-class wickets taken by Pankaj Singh prior to making his Test debut. With a little bit of support from the fielders or the umpire, he could have added to that tally today.

Bishen Jeswant is a stats sub editor at ESPNcricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jason on July 28, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    @valvolux, In the end Balance has been in the UK for since 2006, he used heritage to play as a non-overseas player, and as such took up the spot of an English cricketer, therefore if he is qualified and a British citizen should he not qualify to play for England?

    In 10-20 years we might see cricketers born in England/Aus/America playing for India, as their parents where working in the UK at the time of their birth. Would they prevented from playing for india, even if all the correct papers were filed at the Indian Commission in the UK for Indian citizenship?

  • Jeff on July 28, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Three is too high for Bell, And tbh so is four. He should bat five at the highest, preferably six.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    Ballance is an attacking (or more aptly counter-attacking) batsman by nature. It's not that he's not good enough for #3; any 'pundits' saying that aren't worth their salt....It's just that it really doesn't suit his style well. I think it's therefore a testament to his quality as a player that he's performing so well in a role ill-suited to him. Root's not a #3 or #5 either - he's an opener. I'd have Root and Cook opening, Bell at #3 and Ballance at #4, but England seem convinced that Root isn't an opener for whatever godforsaken reason.

  • Valavan on July 28, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    @valvolux, yes Ballance played under 19 in zimbabwe, of course his parents are not from zimbabwe. they were just settlers, infact playing U19 is different from playing first class, Trott and KP played FC cricket in SA and KP's mother is european. According to your logic, Nasser Hussain, Bob Woolmer and Robin Jackman should have played for India and since they were born in India. Before writing irrelevant posts , understand anyone can play anywhere as they wish. cricinfo please publish.

  • Leopard on July 28, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Engaging sporting play between well matched sides. :-) Nationalism. :-(

  • themba on July 28, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    Balance is really on fire. I think England should outsource batsmen from Southern Africa more regularly. Zimbo born you beauty!

  • Justin on July 28, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    @markatnotts - Ballance played U19 cricket for zimbabwe, Robson played U19 cricket for Australia. Ballance was playing first class cricket in Zimbabwe all of 4 years ago. He moved to England at 16 on a sports scholarship - ie. his talent was already developed. Should other countries just offer scholarships to other international prospects? No, because other countries have enough home grown talent!!!

    Ballance and Robson are not English players, no matter how you look at it. Just because Trott and KP have left the side, does not mean you have to replace them with another two foreigners!! Though it is quite funny.

  • Francis on July 28, 2014, 1:11 GMT

    Ironically, I keep hearing & reading from english analysts that Ballance is not quite good enough (at least for No.3). Time will tell but I don't think he's worried. Interestingly, he averages 54 at both Tests and FC cricket (prior to this Test). That suggests the real deal. It also suggests that, despite being only 24 he may have come in sooner - there were cracks in the England team more than a year ago but I guess no one expected it to get this bad. He may end up a perfect replacement for Trott (or KP?). I've also heard & seen the same analysts find fault with Robson & Moeen. To be fair, Moeen's FC average is only 38. Not really an average that screams Test cricketer. Wonder if he'd got a game if he wasn't a trundler? (desperation). It'll be interesting to see how Robson goes against SA, Pakistan & Australia. If Boycott is right, he'll be found out (there probably is a reason he didn't get asked to play Shield cricket the last few years). Still, the are doing ok.

  • M on July 27, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    What the rebellion has been praying for....one who would bring Ballance to the Moores.

  • Ohhhh on July 27, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    Ballance learnt all his cricket in England. Even played for Derbyshire at 16!

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