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Gary Ballance is hot as curry!

Gary Ballance's 110 guides England to 219-6 on Day Two in reply to India's 295 all out

London: Another Alastair Cook failure overshadowed Gary Ballance’s second Test century, against India at Lord’s.

Gary Ballance
England's Gary Ballance celebrates his century at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London yesterday. Pic/AFP.

Cook’s early exit apart, this was a serviceable Day Two of the second Investec Test for the hosts -- and significantly better than that for Ballance, whose 110 underpinned England’s 219 for six in reply to 295 all out.

The captain’s wretched run of form, however, has become an inescapable issue.

It will remain so until either Cook rediscovers the prolific runscoring knack which has conspicuously eluded him for 26 Test innings, or his twin responsibilities as opener and leader are relaxed. A critical point is surely close, but at least Ballance ensured England still have a feasible opportunity to break their run of nine Tests without a victory.

That was in major doubt when -- after Cook and opening partner Sam Robson had been dismissed for the addition of nine runs by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (four for 46) -- England faltered first to 31 for two and then 113 for four. No 3 Ballance, however, was not about to go easily on a relentlessly hot and sunny day.

The 24-year-old made the wrong sort of headlines on the eve of this match when pictures emerged of him apparently swaying and stripped to the waist in a Nottingham nightclub after the first-Test stalemate at Trent Bridge.

On the pitch, there were few indiscretions from a batsman who makes a particular virture of patience. It took Ballance 54 balls, either side of lunch, to reach double-figures. -- PA Sport

78.50: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s batting average in this series. It is the best amongst Indian batsmen. With nine scalps, he is also India’s highest wicket-taker

Live Today: England vs India, Day 3 on Star Sports 1, 3 and HD 1, 15:30

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