England’s difficult day in the field almost went from bad to worse when Rory Burns suffered an injury to his right hand that forced him off the field in the 105th over of New Zealand’s innings at the Bay Oval.
Off the first ball of a new Sam Curran spell, Colin de Grandhomme flashed hard towards the slip cordon and Burns, who was standing in a close gully position, flung himself to his right and deflected the ball away with his outstretched hand. While technically a missed opportunity, the ball came at Burns at some pace and in reality he did well to prevent a boundary.
Such was the ferocity of de Grandhomme’s stroke that it ripped the webbing between Burns’ right thumb and index finger and drew blood. Burns immediately left the field with his fate for the rest of the Test unclear. During the tea interval, the Sky Sports punditry team speculated about how his possible absence would affect England’s batting order in the second innings.
England soothed any concerns, saying that Burns was set to recover quickly and once his webbing was glued back together, he was expected to return to the field. There was even a happy consequence of the blow, from an England point at least. In the absence of his opening partner, Dominic Sibley was tasked with fielding at gully, and claimed an excellent low catch off the first ball after tea to dismiss Colin de Grandhomme.
Burns didn’t return on the third day, and on the fourth morning it was confirmed that he would be kept off the park to avoid the risk of his wound re-opening. He is set to open the batting, which he is still able to do with his injury an external one.