Former England opener Sir Geoffrey Boycott has offered a scathing verdict on Rory Burns following a forgettable Ashes tour. Boycott urged England to look past the left-handed batter.
Burns struggled throughout the Ashes series for rhythm, most notably losing his wicket to Mitchell Starc on the first ball of the series. The southpaw averaged only 12.83 in three Tests, with a best score of 34. The 32-year old is likely to lose his spot ahead of the next series.
Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Geoffrey Boycott labeled Burns' technique as 'ugly'. While the cricketer-turned-commentator admitted the southpaw is gutsy, he thinks England have to find alternatives. He wrote:
"Rory Burns is ugly to watch. If that is the best of what English cricket has to offer, then God help England, his technique you would not give to a friend. The guy has tremendous determination and guts. I take my hat off to him and full credit for everything he gets out of his batting but England need to find something better."
Boycott also opened up on all-rounder Ben Stokes' Ashes stint, saying it was promising. However, lack of game time and match practice before the series saw him struggle.
"Ben Stokes showed us glimpses of what he might do but to be honest, there were mitigating circumstances why he couldn't perform. A lack of competitive cricket in England and no match practice before the series because of rain left him a shadow of the great batsman," the former England captain wrote.
Stokes came into the Ashes series having been on a mental health break since August. While the 30-year old scored a pair of 60s, he couldn't nail a big score. With the ball, he managed only four wickets at 71.50.
"Zak's batting at the end was a delightful surprise" - Geoffrey Boycott
The 81-year old highlighted that Zak Crawley did well for England, observing he has a knack for putting the bowlers under pressure with a simple and orthodox technique. However, Boycott wants to see a lot more from the youngster.
"Zak's batting at the end was a delightful surprise. Being tall with a big stride that helps him get to the pitch of the ball he was a scoreboard mover putting a bit of pressure back on the bowler. Against him, bowlers run-up thinking if I do not get my length or line right he will punish me. He has a simple orthodox technique with lovely timing. Please Zak - do not be a flash in the pan as we need a lot more from you," he wrote.
While Crawley looks set to retain his place for the upcoming series against the West Indies, it'll be interesting to see who the ECB pick as his opening partner.