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Rory Burns’ tweaked technique turns heads in County Championship opener

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Rory Burns‘ new, seemingly simplified technique caught the eye on the opening day of the 2022 County Championship at Edgbaston.

Opening the batting for Surrey against Warwickshire, Burns had a different set-up to the one seen during the Ashes series in the winter, as he scored 41 off 77 balls, with his innings ended by left-arm spinner Danny Briggs. Evening Standard journalist Will Macpherson was quick to pick up on the new technique.

The 31-year-old England batter spoke to Wisden Cricket Monthly editor-in-chief Phil Walker prior to the start of the season and admitted he’d tinkered with his method.

“He said quite openly that, ‘there is obviously a lot of things going on with my technique and rhythm, and that flow is very key to it and it has to work in sync for me to feel comfortable’. He has sought to reduce some of the more idiosyncratic elements of it. The iconic head tilt to midwicket has gone,” Walker said on the Wisden Cricket Weekly podcast.

The left-hander was dropped after two Tests of the Ashes, only to be recalled for the final Test in Hobart. The opener was then discarded for the tour of the West Indies, with Alex Lees and Zak Crawley opening the batting during England’s 1-0 series defeat.

During the tour of Australia, which saw Burns clean bowled off the very first ball of the series, former England opener Sir Alastair Cook suggested that the left-hander adapt his technique in order to succeed at Test level.

Speaking on BT Sport, former captain Cook said: “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,” Cook added.

During the Ashes defeat, then England batting coach Graham Thorpe also talked about Burns’ technique.

“He needs to do the simple things better,” Thorpe said in December. “I think he can come back again and play for England definitely but he’s very clear those little adjustments are going to help him to stay at the crease longer.”

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