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West Indies v England

‘Absorb and counteract’ – Rory Burns wants England to be patient

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Rory Burns, the England opener, said their batsmen needed to absorb the pressure created by the West Indies fast bowlers and wait for the bad balls if they are to counteract the hosts’ pace quartet.

England were blown away by Kemar Roach and company for 77 runs in the first innings of the Barbados Test, a game they went on to lose by a massive 381 runs.

Burns was the only English batsman to have crossed fifty in that game – his 84 in the second innings was something of a saving grace for England as they inevitably fell short of chasing an improbable 628.

“It’s about being able to absorb a lot of pressure,” Burns said ahead of the second Test in Antigua. “They bowled very well first innings. I was out there for 25 balls and I can’t remember getting one to hit, really.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to absorb that pressure and counteract it. When you do that, you get bad balls, and you can put them away.”

Burns, dismissed for 2 in that first-innings, learnt his lesson the hard way and has called on his team-mates to follow his lead.

“In between the first and second innings I made a slight alteration in between my own ears of how I was going about it,” Burns said.

“With the tempo I played at, and the sort of pressure I managed to transfer, I thought I played quite nicely.”

Burns picked out Shannon Gabriel as the quickest among the West Indies fast bowlers. The quartet of Roach, Jason Holder, Alzzari Joseph and Gabriel troubled England in the first Test and they will now have the support of the young Oshane Thomas, who has been added to the squad for the second Test.

“He is the quickest out of their four,” Burns said of Gabriel. “It can be uncomfortable. He’s actually quite skillful and doesn’t give you that many balls to hit. You want to wear him down, keep him bowling, and you want them to use him as a sort of enforcer, the one pushing their attack, and trying to make it uncomfortable.”

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