GARY BALLANCE is determined to build on his unbeaten century at Trent Bridge on another of his favourite batting pitches.
Former Yorkshire captain Ballance scored a battling, unbeaten 101 in the second innings against Nottinghamshire, helping Joe Root, with his 130 not out, to secure a draw in the County Championship opener, the pair putting on 253 for the third wicket after having been set a target of 447.
Yorkshire finished on 277-2 and Ballance says they can build on that against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, starting today.
It will not be easy as Hampshire rattled up 525 to hammer Essex by an innings and 87 runs in their opener, with pace duo Fidel Edwards and Kyle Abbott bagging eight and seven wickets, respectively.
But Ballance has scored two centuries and a double-hundred in his last two Championship matches there, both draws, and averages 73.86 across six four-day appearances.
The left-hander also scored a Test 156 against India at the Southampton venue in 2014. He needs 85 runs to reach 10,500 in first-class matches and 27 to reach 1,000 in first-class matches against Hampshire.
“Sometimes you just like playing at certain grounds,” he said. “Trent Bridge is one of them. I have a decent record there, as I do at the Ageas Bowl. It’s a good pitch and you can get some really big scores if you get a good start. I’m looking forward to it.”
Yorkshire possess their own pace threat in South African Duanne Olivier, who claimed a debut five-wicket haul for in the first innings against Notts.
Olivier could also receive extra support from former Test all-rounder Tim Bresnan, who is back in contention after recovering from the back injury he suffered on the pre-season tour in Potchefstroom last month.
This will be Root’s final Championship appearance before England’s summer of internationals begin next month, although he could yet feature in the early stages of the Royal London one-day Cup from next week.
Sometimes you just like playing at certain grounds. Trent Bridge is one of them. I have a decent record there, as I do at the Ageas Bowl.Gary Ballance
Yorkshire squad: Ballance, Bresnan, Brook, Coad, Leaning, Lyth, Olivier, Patterson (capt), Poysden, Root, Tattersall (wkt), Kohler-Cadmore, Waite.
Josh Shaw joins Division Two Gloucestershire on loan for their four-day fixture against Derbyshire at Bristol today but will return ahead of the start of the domestic 50-over competition.