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Concerns grow over Rory Burns’ first-over dismissals as England opt for Hameed to face first ball

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Concerns grow over Rory Burns’ first-over dismissals as England opt for fellow opener Haseeb Hameed to face the first ball against Australia… and pressure mounts on under-fire star to improve in second Ashes Test

  • Rory Burns was bowled by Mitchell Starc in the first ball of the first Ashes Test
  • For second innings on Friday, England put Haseeb Hameed up for the first ball
  • It is only the third time in 55 Test knocks that Burns has not taken first strike
  • Burns will need to improve for the second Test after scoring just 13 in this match











Rory Burns’s days of facing the first ball of a Test innings may be a thing of the past as concerns grow about his tendency to get out in the first over.

Burns failed to take first strike in England’s second innings at the Gabba for only the third time in 55 Test knocks, with the honour passing instead to Haseeb Hameed.

And while the decision was motivated partly by the fact that Burns was on a king pair after being bowled round his legs by Mitchell Starc’s first ball of the Ashes on Wednesday, Sportsmail understands that the move follows dressing-room analysis of his recent record.

Rory Burns endured another difficult day for England, in the first Ashes Test against Australia

Rory Burns endured another difficult day for England, in the first Ashes Test against Australia

Burns departs for just 13 runs, following on from his golden duck in the first innings

Burns departs for just 13 runs, following on from his golden duck in the first innings

His first-baller in Brisbane was the ninth time he has failed to survive until the second over of a Test innings – with every instance taking place since the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in September 2019. Unsurprisingly, eight of those nine innings have been ducks.

Burns almost made it ten dismissals and nine ducks on the third morning of the first Test at Brisbane when he was given lbw by umpire Paul Reiffel from the last ball of Starc’s first over. But he was spared by technology, which had the delivery going over the stumps.

The swap, however, didn’t make much difference. After advancing to 13, Burns fell in the first over after lunch to a snorter from Australian captain Pat Cummins that induced a reflex prod through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Concern is growing in the England camp about Burns' tendency to get out in the first over

Concern is growing in the England camp about Burns’ tendency to get out in the first over

Haseeb Hameed (pictured), Burns' fellow opener, instead took first strike on Friday morning

Haseeb Hameed (pictured), Burns’ fellow opener, instead took first strike on Friday morning

And with Burns’s unorthodox footwork providing fodder for Australia’s army of ex-players-turned-pundits, he will be under pressure to make a score in next week’s second Test at Adelaide.

It wasn’t long ago that he was England’s player of the series at home against New Zealand, when he followed 132 at Lord’s with 81 at Edgbaston. Even in that series, though, he finished with a second-ball dismissal, caught in the slips off Matt Henry as England slid to an eight-wicket defeat.

And his golden duck here was his sixth first-over dismissal in 2021 alone, prompting a team discussion that may have consequences as the Ashes progress.

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