London - Former England captain Michael Vaughan has expressed concern
about the selection of Gary Ballance to bat at number three in the first Test
against South Africa starting at Lord's on Thursday.
Ballance has been recalled to the England Test team for the
third time in his career having earned his place in the squad through sheer
weight of runs for Yorkshire in the County Championship this season.
The left-hander has so far struck 815 runs at the remarkable
average of 101.87 in eight matches in the four-day competition this year.
However, the Zimbabwe-born Ballance has had his technical
issues in international cricket before, which saw him discarded twice, and
Vaughan feels the Proteas bowling attack are a different kettle of fish
compared to county sides.
Writing in his column for the Telegraph, Vaughan said:
"Ballance batting at three worries me.
"He is in fine confident form with a volume of runs for
Yorkshire behind him but (Morne) Morkel, (Kagiso) Rabada and Vernon Philander
are a different proposition.
"The last time he played for England and batted at
three he had success against slower attacks. When he had to face three bowlers
consistently bowling at more than 137 kph he was found out."
Vaughan, who scored more than 5 000 runs in 82 Tests at an
average of 41, believes Morkel will be the biggest threat to Ballance at the
The lanky South African pacer has a good record against
left-handers (averaging 23) in the longest format of the game.
Vaughan wrote: "Morkel will be the challenge. He bowls
brilliantly at left-handers and England will have three in the top four. Has
Ballance improved his method of transferring his weight forward when the ball
"South Africa will push him back with the short ball,
can he then get weight transferred back into the ball when they go full."
The Lord's Test is the first of a four-match series between
England and the Proteas.