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Grocery-shopping Ballance surprised by England call-up

Cricket - England v Australia - Investec Ashes Test Series Second Test - Lord?s - 16/7/15 England's Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance walk off for lunch Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge Livepic
Cricket - England v Australia - Investec Ashes Test Series Second Test - Lord?s - 16/7/15England's Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance walk off for lunchAction Images via Reuters / Andrew CouldridgeLivepic

(Reuters) - England batsman Gary Ballance has admitted being pleasantly surprised by his return to the side for the first test against Pakistan, a news that reached him while he was busy grocery shopping.

The 26-year-old was dropped during England's Ashes series against Australia last year after a poor run of form, but has been brought back in place of Nick Compton, who is taking time away from the game after a woeful run of form.

"It's all come as a bit of a surprise," Ballance told British media.

"It's a great feeling to be back in the squad, especially when you've been out of the side for a while.

"I was just doing a bit of grocery shopping when I got the call from national selector James Whitaker - just a standard Thursday morning!"

Should the left-handed batsman make his first test start in 12 months at Lord's on Thursday, Ballance is likely to slot into the middle order rather than at number three.

He is hopeful that his modest domestic season could translate into bigger numbers for England.

"I've felt good the last few weeks," Ballance added.

"I've been playing well, I just haven't got that big score that gets you noticed."

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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