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Gary Ballance: Weeks don't get any better than this
I think the past week is up there with the best of my career.
To get the call about my England selection at the beginning of it was a great feeling, and to finish off the season with two hundreds was fantastic. I’m really happy with the way the season’s gone.
I got the phone call from Geoff Miller. The first thing he said was “Are you sitting down for this?”. Then he said “We’d like you to come to Australia on the tour.” I was very shocked when I heard it, very surprised. But, at the same time, very excited.
The Yorkshire lads were excited and happy for me as well, and I’ve got a few mates on the tour - people like Jonny and Joe, who I’ve grown up playing cricket with. I’ll be getting some advice from them.
I haven’t had a chance to speak to them, but I’m sure I’ll be having a chat with them over the next few weeks.
As for my two hundreds at The Oval, I wasn’t aware that I was the 13th Yorkshire player to score a hundred in both innings of a match. But it’s a great feeling. The aim on the last day was to get a draw and finish second in the Championship. It was also nice to finish the season well personally.
I wasn’t thinking about getting the number six spot for England when I was batting, it was just a case of building an innings. And it was just one of those games where it came off in both innings.
I was pretty confident because it was a good pitch. They bowled well early on, and there was a bit of turn. Thankfully we just got through. All credit to Dominic Sibley, though, because he batted very well. It was an excellent innings from a young lad, and it looks like he’s going to have a bright future.
Personally, I had the target of getting 1,000 runs in the Championship at the start of the season, and this is the first time that I’ve done it, so that was very satisfying.
Our goal as a team was to win the Championship, and for half the season we were where we wanted to be. We won seven games in the season, and that was a great effort which would have won the Championship in previous years. But Durham won more games than us, and they deserved to win the title.
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