Rory Burns, one of the three uncapped players in England’s Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka, said years of hard work was the reason for the leg up, reported ICC.
“Ed Smith [the National Selector] rung me last week after the Somerset game, but it actually cut out halfway through,” Burns revisited with Sky Sports. “He started to tell me I’d got the nod, but it cut out so I had to run outside quickly and find some phone signal, and give him a callback.”
The opening batsman has crossed 1000 runs in the last five County Championship seasons and is also leading this season’s chart, having scored 1338 runs at 66.90.
“For me, personally, it’s been a lot of hard work,” the Surrey captain said. “I’ve tried to let my bat do the talking and churn out runs, and it’s satisfying to get the nod in the end and get the opportunity.
“I’ve obviously got five seasons of backing in my own head. I’ve got some self-belief, so you’ve got to trust your method and trust the processes that you go through.”
Alastair Cook’s retirement has left one opening spot vacant for England, and Burns, if given an opportunity in the playing XI, might be taking the former captain’s position. However, that won’t put him under any pressure.
“I think it’s exciting,” said Burns. “You probably can’t say enough about Alastair’s career – well I can’t, because I don’t think I’m as good as him at the minute. But it’ll be an exciting time and I hope I get an opportunity to do it.”
Burns admitted that his batting method is “slightly unorthodox”. “There’s some nuances to it, let’s put it that way, ” Burns explained. “I got told I was left-eye dominant, so [looking to mid-on] is about me trying to get my left eye on the ball as much as I can. Then it almost became a rhythm thing in terms of little routines at the crease. That’s how that came about.”
Across in Sri Lanka, the plan of attack is likely to be spin, in the main. “I’m a decent player of spin, I’ve got a few options that I try to work my way through, but [Elgar’s] just got back from Sri Lanka, and said he didn’t face a ball of seam,” said Burns. “So it’ll be trial by spin and it’ll be interesting to see how I’ll go.
“I think it’s about clarity in your method,” he added. “You need to understand what you do well, what your options are at certain times. It’s no different from going from seam to spin, there are different methods to both and you’ve got to cycle through them.”