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Battling Burns backed himself to register Ashes hundred
England News

Battling Burns backed himself to register Ashes hundred

Rory Burns claimed he reestablished confidence in his peculiar batting stance amidst the backlash to labour his way towards his maiden Test century on day two of the opening Ashes encounter against Australia.

Burns' unbeaten 125 not out at stumps has placed England in a dominant position inching them closer to Australia's total of 284 in the first innings.

England's opening conundrum has been a common feature of their Test side where Alastair Cook's retirement last year has further left a gaping hole in the top-order.

Burns' unimpressive start to his career that has seen him average a mere 22.28 across seven games has done little to reassure the England selectors of a solution to their opening woes.

The 28-year-old Surrey player, who made his debut in Test cricket in November, was dismissed cheaply twice in the game against Ireland trying to chase balls pitched outside the off-stump.

His strained batting style characterized by an unusually protruding neck towards the leg-side and a dominant left eye attracted criticism from former players for lacking the finesse associated with orthodox techniques.

'Surrounded myself with people that back me'

Burns' failures at Lord's last week provided more fuel to his critics, who predicted he might not get a consistent run in England's playing XI for the Ashes.

But the left-handed batsman remained resolute and defied the negative comments pestering him over the past few days.

"I literally buried my head in the sand to all sorts comments, media that sort of stuff," Burns said following his seven-hour stay at the crease on the second day.

"I just tried to get myself around people that back me –- team-mates, coaches."

Burns was delighted by the fact his maiden century in Tests came in an Ashes clash as he reveled in the moment of matching up Steve Smith's sublime hundred on the first day.

"It's quite hard to put into words, to be an Ashes cricketer in the first place is a wonderful thing," he said.

"We connected with some past players, some of the 2005 (England) winners the night before and I was literally ready to run through a brick wall at that stage and get right in amongst it.

"The night before I probably played my first ball a few times and probably celebrated a hundred a few times.

"To get over the line today is a wonderful feeling," added Burns, who spent 36 balls in the 90s before a quick single off spinner Nathan Lyon saw him to three figures.

"But hopefully I'm not done yet and we can push on from the position we're in tomorrow (Saturday)."