England opener Rory Burns vows to keep ‘doing my thing’ after celebrating Test recall with battling century against New Zealand
- Burns provided a new up in his decidedly up-and-down year on Saturday
- He spent two periods out of the side in 2021 and was involved in Twitter spat
- The left-handed opener rescued England with a superb century in the first Test
Rory Burns celebrated his England recall with a third Test hundred to provide a new up in his decidedly up-and-down year.
Burns spent two periods out of the side in 2021, first skipping the tour of Sri Lanka to be at the birth of his daughter Cora in January and later being axed midway through the 3-1 defeat in India.
He further sullied that with an unedifying Twitter spat with England women’s player Alex Hartley in the aftermath of a two-day defeat in Chennai.
Rory Burns helped England avert meltdown on the fourth day with a hundred at Lord’s
The left-handed opener prevented New Zealand opening up a more dominant position in the first Test match of the international summer.
Asked about those mixed fortunes, he said: ‘My wife and Cora were here today and that was pretty special — not that she’ll remember it, but I will so it’s a nice thing.
‘Getting dropped is not a nice thing but being able to take the next opportunity you get given is. In terms of highs and lows I try to stay pretty constant.
‘I went back to Surrey and put together some scores and some form there. I’ve tried to stay consistent and do my thing.’
Burns frustrated New Zealand with his idiosyncratic manner at the crease and his amalgam of moving parts proving good for 132 — after surviving a straightforward stumping chance on 77 and a regulation slip catch off Neil Wagner on 88.
‘It’s basically a technique that has evolved over the years that allows me to execute my game plan and score my runs where I want to.
Burns prevented New Zealand opening up a more dominant position in the first Test match
‘There has been a bit of chat over the years about left-eye dominance and that’s why I try to get my head right round. It’s probably more of a rhythm thing rather than trying to get my left eye on it,’ added Burns.
It was a day in which England were grateful for substance over style, however. Without him, the first-innings deficit would have been much greater than 103.
When debutant Ollie Robinson walked to the crease, Joe Root’s team were 140 for six but a stand of 63 for the seventh wicket stabilised things before another half-century alliance for the last wicket with James Anderson took him to three figures and beyond.
New Zealand’s Tim Southee said of Burns: ‘We know he’s a quality player. He’s got an unusual technique, obviously, but the way he was able to leave the ball and wait for us to stray a little bit made it a great innings.’
Southee followed up a 10-wicket match haul in the corresponding Test here eight years ago with six for 43 in England’s innings.