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Ashes 2021/22

Alastair Cook: Rory Burns has to think about adapting his technique

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former England opener Alastair Cook has suggested that Rory Burns should consider reevaluating his batting technique after the left-hander departed for another low score in the 2021/22 Ashes.

Burns fell for 4 in England’s first innings in the second Test at Adelaide, following scores of 0 and 13 in the first Test at the Gabba. Mitchell Starc has accounted for Burns on two occasions in the series: a full delivery bowled the Surrey batter for a golden duck in the first Test before a back-of-the-length delivery was edged to the slip cordon in the second.

The 31-year-old’s unorthodox technique has been under the scanner for the entirety of his international career and Cook, on punditry duties for BT, suggested after play on day two of the Adelaide Test that it may be time for Burns to think about adapting his methods as noise grows over his place in England’s XI.

“You’re always told in international cricket, ‘Do what you do in county cricket, you don’t change how you play, you’d be mad to change it straightaway’,” Cook told BT Sport.

“It’s probably getting to a stage now where he’ll have to sit down and go, ‘This is what I’ve got with my technique, if I want to play even longer for England and play 60, 70, 80 Test matches for England, what do I need to improve?’

“This does work for Rory Burns on occasion but to be more consistent early on in his innings, I think he needs to really think about how he gets that bat playing coming down straighter.

“It’s in Rory Burns’ hands, still. He’s definitely going to bat again unless something else extraordinary happens in this Test match. If he scores a hundred in the second innings he then gets to play some more games.”

Burns is currently playing his 31st Test match for England and has returned three centuries, including one against Australia in the 2019 Ashes.

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