Joe Root and Gary Ballance may be teammates for club and country and close friends away from the cricket field but it is a different matter on the golf course with their competitive edge getting the better of them at a recent Team England Golf Day arranged by the PCA.
After completing their golf round at The Grove with team England sponsors, Root and Ballance decided to challenge each other to a putting challenge on the practice green ahead of their afternoon barbeque.
The Yorkshire pair are the talk of English cricket at the moment after they enjoyed personal success in the opening Test series of the summer against Sri Lanka last month.
Sheffield born Root scored an unbeaten double hundred in the opening Test Match innings of the summer while Ballance, in just his second Test made 104* in the second innings to help set up a victory which England fell agonisingly short of.
That meant both players made the honours board in the same Test Match with the duo posing for a photo in front of the honours board in a picture Ballance shared on his official Facebook page which accompanied his blog for the GiveMeSport website.
With the scene set in the luxurious grounds of ‘London’s Country Estate’, Root was the first to the green and expertly introduced the competition in the video exclusively filmed for their official Facebook pages. However, it wasn’t long before ‘gamesmanship’ came into play with Ballance calling his teammate to mark his ball.
Root was caught red handed moving the ball after his shot with calls of “cheat” from Ballance who ended up winning the first hole 1-0 anyway.
The right-hander from Sheffield needed to win the next hole to keep the competition alive and he did just that despite heckling from the opposition. Ballance’s attempt was long before Root tried to pick up the pace of the shot with a curling style sweep of the grass with his club!
With all to play for going into the crucial last hole, roles were switched and the left-hander stepped up to the plate and almost ended the competition with a hole in one as he wheeled away in anticipation of winning the battle of Yorkshire.
However, the honour went to Root after an exquisite put rolled down the hill and straight into the hole with the 23-year-old celebrating while claiming “it was never out” before taking his cap off to salute the crowds on a baking hot day at The Grove.
Sportsmanship was resumed and the friendly pair shook hands as the England pair enjoyed some downtime during a hectic summer of international cricket.