Root-Buttler put us in strong position: Gary Ballance
London: England batsman Gary Ballance rued at not completing another hundred against India in the fifth and final cricket Test here while praising team-mate Joe Root for countering the visitors` efforts on day two.
The hosts finished 237 runs ahead at stumps, replying to India`s 148 runs with 385/7.
"I felt good out there and I am very disappointed that I could not get the hundred today. I was disappointed with the way I got out and should have gone on to bat longer. But I guess that delivery bounced a bit more and I should not have played at it," said Ballance, who was dismissed for 64 runs, at the press conference after the day`s play.
"But international sport is tough but I feel much more confident after how this summer has shaped up. I feel I can do a decent job at number three for England and kick on from the chances that I have been given so far," he said.
England lost track a bit after lunch as they went from 191/1 to 204/4, with Ballance among the batsmen dismissed. It appeared as if India were making a comeback in the game before Joe Root stopped them with 92 unbeaten runs.
"After lunch, Varun Aaron changed ends and bowled well to us. He changed the angles and came around the wicket as well as over the wicket. R Ashwin bowled well and got a couple wickets as well. But the way Root and Buttler counter-attacked was brilliant and that really put us in a strong position towards the end of the day," said Ballance.
"There was a bit of collapse and it was not ideal. But things could have been worse, it could have been 8-9 wickets but only four wickets went down," he added.
After adding 80 runs with Buttler for the sixth wicket, Root added another 67 unbeaten runs with Chris Jordan towards the end of the day`s play, taking England`s lead past 200 runs and putting them in a commanding position.
"The Indian bowlers might be a little disappointed. They ran in all day on a pitch that is getting flatter. The way they ran in all day was a credit to them especially their seamers. They hit good areas but the way Root played and counter-attacked, he could play freely as they got tired," said the batsman.
"Varun Aaron ran in all day long and he was bowling in the late 80s. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also touched the 80s plus, he can move the ball both ways. Ashwin is a different bowler from Ravindra Jadeja and they are both very difficult to score off.
Overall, I think Indian bowling has done well," he said.