Rory Burns, who on Saturday struck his third Test ton, revealed that he had to grind to get to the three-figure mark on Day 4, owing to the fact that the Kiwi pacers denied him rhythm by bowling tight lines. Burns also heaped praise on Ollie Robinson, who compiled a fine 42 to keep the Kiwis at bay.
Rory Burns, across the first two years of his Test career, had developed the reputation of being a ‘tough run scorer’, and on Day 4 at Lord’s the opener scored some of the toughest runs of his career to push England out of harm’s way. A horror effort from his batting partners saw the hosts be reduced to 140/6 in no time, but Burns kept his ground and remained impregnable. The southpaw dodged every arrow the visitors shot towards his direction and eventually finished on 132 to score his first ton since November 2019.
And by his own admission, scoring runs on Day 4 was anything but easy. Speaking at the post match press conference on Saturday, Burns lauded the Kiwi pacers for their impeccable accuracy, and asserted that he had to dig really hard to score the third ton of his career.
"It was a bit of a grind. They tried to dry me up and bowl at other guys in the order. It was like they were waiting for me to make a mistake. I found it quite difficult to get into a rhythm,” Burns said on Saturday.
"But we needed those runs today. So, it's nice to contribute. And it's nice to take the opportunity I've been given [on recall]. You try and stay level. Some days you get good balls. Some days you nick one and get dropped and end up getting a hundred. You have to stay level."
At one point, though, Burns looked like he’d be denied the opportunity to score a century. England began their day on 111/2 but a combination of otherworldly bowling and hideous batting saw the hosts be reduced to 140/6 in the first hour. However, a fine hand by debutant Ollie Robinson, who scored 42 and was involved in a 63-run stand for the seventh wicket, not only bailed England out of trouble, but also helped Burns get to the coveted three-figure mark. Burns heaped praise on Robinson, who he reckoned batted ‘pleasingly’.
“I thought the way Ollie (Robinson) played on debut was really pleasing. He timed the ball nicely, he’ll probably be disappointed in terms of how he got out. But, having said that, it was a very good effort on debut. “
Burns is currently the man of the moment, but it was only two months ago that the 30-year-old was dropped mid-way through the India tour due to a bad run of form. He then went back to Surrey to rediscover his touch - and succeeded in doing so, posting 7 fifty-plus scores in 10 innings - before showcasing his mental fortitude at Lord’s to play a crucial knock for the Three Lions. The 30-year-old admitted that he did not enjoy getting dropped, but revealed that he has, by now, learned to control his emotions.
“Getting dropped is not nice and, as an individual, you try and take the next chance you get. In terms of highs and lows, as an individual, I try to stay as consistent as I can. I got back to Surrey, I worked hard and it was good to get some scores there. It’s basically just staying consistent and doing my thing.”
New Zealand ended Day 2 on 62/2, with a lead of 165, and the game currently looks inevitable to end as a draw. Burns echoed the same sentiment, but claimed that the Kiwis are slightly ahead in the game.
“New Zealand are slightly ahead in the game but third innings is always tricky, to try and push a positive result. We’re running out of time, but they have a slight edge at the moment.”