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England one-day boost for Gary Ballance
Gary Ballance is targeting a World Cup place after being selected in England’s one-day squad for their series against Australia in the new year.
The Yorkshire batsman, currently part of England’s disappointing Ashes campaign, has been named in a 16-man party for the five-match series alongside county colleagues Joe Root and Tim Bresnan.
Root and Bresnan are the two Yorkshire names in England’s 15-man squad for a three-match Twenty20 series, although there is no place for Jonny Bairstow in either squad.
The one-day series runs between January 12 and 26 and the Twenty20 series between January 29 and February 2.
While the Twenty20 series will be a warm-up for the World Twenty20 competition in Bangladesh in March, the one-day series will be a key part of England’s preparations for the one-day World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February 2015.
And Ballance, who will have the chance to play only his second one-day international, wants to be there.
The left-hander, 24, said: “I’ve worked hard on my one-day game in the last few years. I’ve played more games for Yorkshire and the Lions and have gained more experience.
“Hopefully I can keep pushing for a place. If I do get the opportunity to play a game, I’ll try and take it with both hands.
“The World Cup in Australia in a year or so’s time is what everyone’s looking to. If I can keep pushing for a place, hopefully I’ll give myself a chance of getting selected.”
Jimmy Anderson, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann have been rested from both squads.
England also have a one-day and Twenty20 tour of the West Indies, starting on February 25.
The squads for that have yet to be announced.
England one-day international squad: Cook (c), Ballance, Bell, Bopara, Bresnan, Briggs, Broad, Buttler, Carberry, Finn, Jordan, Morgan, Rankin, Root, Stokes, Tredwell.
England Twenty20 squad: Broad (c), Bopara, Bresnan, Briggs, Buttler, Dernbach, Finn, Hales, Lumb, Morgan, Rankin, Root, Stokes, Tredwell, Wright.
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