Rory Burns tasted the success of a maiden Test century in opposition to Australia after an evening with members of the 2005 Ashes-winning team of England that left him feeling ready to run during a brick wall.
Batting through the 2nd day of the first Test for an unbeaten 125, with six wickets in hand that leaves England only 17 runs behind. Burns displayed all the inflexible qualities that many feared would be lost to the top order of England when Alastair Cook, his fellow left-hander at the end of last summer retired.
In spite of a low-key start as the direct substitute for record run-scorer of England, he averaged 22 from 7 caps and against Ireland had made 12 runs across two innings. This was session with Neil Stewart, his old juniors coach, as well as an evening with such as Ian Bell and Andrew Strauss, proved inspiring.
Left the field to standing applause and handshakes from the Australians, Burns says, ‘In the first place, to be an Ashes cricketer is a superb thing. We associated with some past players, some of 2005 champions the night earlier than the Test and I was exactly ready to run throughout a brick wall and get right in amongst it.’
He thanked Edgbaston’s rowdy Hollies Stand to keep him going during that time, with the mass singing his name to the tune of an old song of Cook before a sprinted single off Nathan Lyon sealed his 3 figures for the foremost time in Test cricket.
Waugh said that his concentration was outstanding. ‘It is not about how good you seem to be, it is how many runs you get. For some of our players, it was a good innings to look at as well as learn.’