IF GARY Ballance continues his sparkling early season form, Joe Root might just have a decision to make.

Ballance’s three successive hundreds in County Championship and one-day cricket have once again reaffirmed his quality and led to whispers about another England return.

That’s all they are at the moment - whispers in the stands and within the media.

But more runs over the next couple of months will to lead to more and more talk about a Zimbabwe-born player who has even been dubbed as Yorkshire’s Ferrari from Harare on Twitter!

Ballance, 29, may have scored four hundreds and seven fifties in his 23 Test appearances between 2014 and 2017, yet some low scores in between meant he could not nail down a place with many former players and pundits writing him off.

But not Root, who has seen first hand his county colleague’s quality.

Whilst playing in Yorkshire’s opening two Championship matches, he shared in third-wicket partnerships of 253 and 182 alongside Ballance against Nottinghamshire and Hampshire. Ballance posted scores of 101 not out and 148.

On Wednesday, Ballance hit a career best 156 as the Vikings started their Royal London one-day Cup campaign with a landslide win over Leicestershire at Emerald Headingley.

Root will lead England into the Ashes this August, and he said: “You’ve got to be very careful not to write players off because you have to give guys the opportunity to go back into county cricket and perform.

“If there are things they need to work at or change to make the step up and be more consistent, then you’ve got to look at it for what it is and see if their game is in that place.

“What I see with Gary is someone who is in fine form, but making the most of it.

“He has a very good understanding of how he’s going to score his runs.

“Hopefully he can continue this throughout the season.

“You can’t ask for any more than someone to go back and churn out big runs consistently.

“It would be great to see him continue that.”

On the chances of a recall, Root said: “It’s hard to say, but all you can ask of people is for them to go back and bang out as many runs as they can and tweak little things that will hold them in good stead when and if chances arise in the future.

“There’s no reason why Gary can’t be successful in Test cricket. He’s shown that already.

“In his first 10 games, he was the second fastest to 1,000 runs.

“As I say, all you can do is play what’s in front of you. And he’s making the most of that at the moment.”

Ballance has fielded questions about England during the last two weeks and insists he is concentrating purely on enjoying his cricket with Yorkshire after a difficult summer last year.

Ballance’s career best 156 against Leicestershire underpinned Yorkshire’s recovery from 17-3 to post a record-breaking 379-7.

He shared 211 for the fourth wicket with fellow centurion Harry Brook.

The Vikings now travel to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire today (11am), the second of three North Group games in five days.

While Yorkshire started with a win, the Bears have yet to play.