Surrey skipper Rory Burns merits chance to Test himself

BY MARCUS HOOK

Dean Elgar believes that Rory Burns is capable of making the step up to Test level after the Surrey skipper made a crucial 90 on the opening day against Essex at Chelmsford in the County Championship.

Burns has now posted five consecutive one thousand first-class-run seasons in English cricket,

Elgar, who opened the batting for South Africa in 25 Tests in the last two years, shared in a pivotal 148-run stand with Burns.

He said: “I don’t see anything in him that says he can’t make it. He’s got a very good head on his shoulders. I think that’s why Surrey made him club captain for this year, and I’m sure for many years to come.

Rory Burns of Surrey leaves the field during the Specsavers County Championship Division One match between Essex and Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground on September 4. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

“He’s got a good temperament. He’s quite a relaxed character and obviously you need those kind of characters in Test cricket, which is such a tough environment. He looks solid. We’ve been Surrey team-mates for a few years, on and off, and his game has definitely evolved. He’s got all the attributes at the moment and he’s been scoring a lot of runs for Surrey. With Alastair Cook retiring, that can’t have gone unnoticed.

“Rory’s doing everything right at the moment. He’s a very good senior player and it seems like his game is really taking off now. But whether he is ready for Test cricket, I’m not really here to say – I’m not putting anyone’s career in my hands. But he has definitely done everything to deserve a call-up.

Burns, who has faced more deliveries in first-class cricket this season than any other batsmen, is in the same bracket as Cook, in that he is seen as someone who trades aesthetic value for endurance.

“It’s not the worst comparison, especially after what Cookie’s done in his career,” said Elgar. “Rory does seem to have quite a unique technique. But I don’t think that matters if you can do a job for your team.

“It looks a little bit funny and a little bit awkward, when he’s at the crease, but it seems to works for him. I don’t see how the way you look on a cricket field determines your success.

“Sometimes there’s a place for ugly cricket. I tell you one thing, he’s definitely got his game sorted out.”

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