WHILE the temptation from the Yorkshire dressing room may be to bellow a collective “no” should England selectors come knocking for captain Gary Ballance’s services, nobody would begrudge their leader what they believe would be a deserved return to the international stage.
Since succeeding Andrew Gale as captain at Headingley, Ballance has been in scintillating form, proving any doubters wrong on whether he could marry the leadership role with accumulating runs out in the middle.
With three first-class centuries and three half-centuries to his name already this season, it has led to talk – not surprisingly – of him earning a return to the international stage that he last stood on during last year’s two-Test tour of Bangladesh.
And while his quickly-established leadership skills and huge quantity of runs would be a sizeable loss to Yorkshire, Australian Peter Handscomb said he would love nothing more than to see Ballance back where he is convinced he belongs.
“It would be great if he got picked again by England,” said Handscomb.
“He is a class player and I think he should be playing Test cricket anyway, as well as ODI cricket for England too. He’s been in amazing form for us this year and, hopefully, he can continue like that.
“It’s great for Yorkshire that he is staying with us but I’d love to see him back in international cricket.”
Handscomb, who himself has impressed during the early part of the campaign, said that Ballance had adapted easily to his new role, without it affecting his run-scoring capability.
“It seems like captaincy suits him well,” added the Australian Test batsman. “
It’s great for Yorkshire that he is staying with us but I’d love to see him back in international cricket.Yorkshire’s Peter Handscomb
He had a couple of hundreds and a double hundred at the start of the season there and that just shows that the captaincy is not affecting his batting.
“He’s quite a relaxed captain too, which is good.
“He’s always willing to ask around to see what other people think, then he backs his own gut instinct.
“Then we go from there as a team and everyone backs that because he has the respect from all of the players.”
Yorkshire face a busy period of cricket in the next few days, following up tomorrow’s County Championship test against Somerset at Taunton with a Royal London One Day Cup play-off quarter-final against Surrey back at Headingley back on Tuesday.
But, on the back of last weekend’s convincing Championship win over Roses rivals Lancashire, Handscomb is confident of building on that success.
“The team has been playing really well lately and we have been sticking to our gameplan,” added Handscomb.
“I can’t see any reason why we can’t go down to Somerset and get that win before coming back up here to get ready for Surrey on Tuesday.”