They therefore conceded a first-innings deficit of 130, despite Anderson's 5-72, and were 205 adrift after South Africa reached 75-1 at stumps second time round.
"We're going in with the same team", Root said on Thursday as his side look to build on their 1-0 lead in a four-match series. "When they get the opportunity they'll still be pretty fresh coming into the second innings later on in this game".
This northern summer has seen Ballance given his third chance at Test level after he was dropped following an abysmal tour of Bangladesh last October, when he scored 24 runs across two Tests.
The one draw was against the same opponents in 2014, on a pitch so lifeless that in the days of timeless Tests the sides would probably still have been playing today.
South Africa last played a Test at Trent Bridge in 2003, when they lost to a James Kirtley-inspired England.
"That was a very untypical English wicket and I thought we adapted to it well".
Root's attacking approach was his undoing, though, as he went for a full-blooded cover drive off Morkel and edged behind for wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to take the diving catch that turned the day for South Africa.More news: Reps order recall of suspended NHIS boss
England, meanwhile, have announced an unchanged team.
This match has so far been a vindication of du Plessis's bold decision to bat first on winning the toss, with de Kock (68) and Philander (54), out to Anderson's fifth ball Saturday, also making valuable fifties. South Africa were shot out for 335, having added only 26 runs in the morning.
While neither are ready to return just yet, Mark Wood - who returned to the side for the first Test at Lord's - admitted he might not have made the side had they been fit, and accepted that the battle for places could become intense when all are available.
However, unlike Lord's, his runs in this first innings were to prove insufficient to dig England out of a hole this time given the lack of support around him.
With the likely value loser out of the way there, let's look to make sure we walk away from the game with a profit by taking on Sky Bet's 28.5 line for South Africa's opening partnership. But for now, England have settled quickly under their new captain and it is South Africa who need to summon a response.
The right-armer could easily have been ignored by Du Plessis after his first three overs leaked 20 runs.