We were impressed by the great Stuart Broad, we enjoyed Anderson attack Windies in tandem with ‘Broadie.’ There was much to admire in the way Wood and Archer went about their spells and of course, Stoke‘s hundred was special, in part that, as captain, he was no stranger to pressure.
But want to know of the most underrated statistic from the recently-concluded Tests against West Indies?
Rory Burns faced 534 deliveries on his own.
Just who took notice of that. Quite like his quiet but meaningful ways, Rory Burns shuns glamor and flamboyance to go about his job with a quiet hush dignity.
Any fast bowler bowling to Rory Burns will have a thought of knocking him out probably on the very first ball he is going to bowl at him. Such is the unorthodox technique of the gritty left-hander. He gives the impression that he is going to nick one behind every ball but that is not the case.
That shuffling mannerism that is as distinctly intertwined in his batting as the great follow-through of a modern fast bowler.
The gritty batsman from Surrey broke into the English set-up in November 2018 against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and returned with ordinary numbers but in his defense, he was asked to play in the alien conditions right away.
He crossed the 50 run mark only once in that series but gave enough reasons for the selectors to back him up. His crucial 59 runs In the 2nd innings of the 2nd test was one of the underrated knocks. England were in all sorts of trouble as they conceded a 1st innings lead of 46 to the Island nation. England needed to set a target on a tricky wicket with 46 run deficit in front of them. Rory Burns played a counter-attacking inning as he scored 59 runs from 66 balls that gave the momentum and the platform for England which they won eventually.
He is one of the highly-rated English players at the moment as far as test cricket is concerned. He has a very unorthodox technique which is very difficult to pull off. The southpaw just plays inside the line and more importantly with soft hands that his edges aren’t carrying to the slip cordon more often than not.
Rory Burns is someone who could fill the former England opener Alastair Cook’s big boots. He managed to get 390 runs in 10 innings in the 2019 Ashes including a century in his very first Ashes innings and ended up as the 2nd leading run-getter for his country only behind Ben Stokes.
This gave enough reasons for ECB to lock him up for the opener’s spot and the occasional wicket-keeper in Rory Burns looks set to serve his nation for a very long period and frustrate the bowlers by scoring runs with an unorthodox technique.
After playing 18 tests, the Surrey opener averages a middling 35.68 runs with the bat but that is only going to get better with time. He has 8 half-centuries and 2 centuries to his name.
The 29-year-old is an old-fashioned opener who is not flashy and may not bring the audience to the ground but he is all that is needed to combat the viciously moving dukes at the top of the order.
In his short career, Rory Burns has faced 100+ plus balls on 10 occasions which is the most by any batsman since his debut which stands as a testament that Rory Burns likes to stay long at the crease and do all the dirty work and present a relatively easy batting environment to the middle-order batsman.
He is a batsman who doesn’t go into a shell after weathering the storm. He slowly takes the attack to the opposition just like any best batsman would do after getting set which makes him all more dangerous.
The batsman is yet to be tested in India where spin bowling will have a major say and with his debut series in Sri Lanka not yielding fruitful returns, the southpaw might just be found wanting against quality spinners with all his trigger movements but Rory Burns has the temperament which is more important than anything to thrive in the toughest format of the game to neutralize any challenge that is posed in front of him.
The fact that Roston Chase has a brilliant record against Rory Burns by dismissing him 5 times and the average of Rory Burns against spinners read a paltry 25 is one glaring weakness in Rory Burns’ brief career.
At the moment, Rory Burns has admirably filled the shoes of Sir Alastair Cook and only time can give the answer about Rory Burns’ longevity.