Ballance `surprised, thrilled` at England call-up for winter Ashes

Updated: Sep 24, 2013, 10:02 AM IST

Johannesburg: Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance has said that he was taken aback by his inclusion in England`s squad for the forthcoming Ashes tour of Australia but he was looking forward to the challenge ahead.

According to Sport24, the 23-year-old was one of three players, along with former Ireland paceman Boyd Rankin and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, yet to make their Test debuts who were included in England`s 17-man squad announced Monday.

Ballance said that he was not expecting it at all and it will be a lifetime experience, adding that it was an honour to represent England at the highest level and it will be extra special in an Ashes series.

However, he said that it will be a little daunting playing with some of the best player sin the world but he knew that he would be made welcome.

It would appear Ballance`s best chance of forcing his way into the Test side is to displace county colleague Bairstow, who has struggled in England`s problem position of number six, the report said.