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Rory Burns accepts England return far from certain

Injury blow: Rory Burns PICTURE: GETTY

RORY BURNS had hoped to seal a return to England’s Test side with early season runs for Surrey but admits he now faces an uneasy wait to see where he stands.

A freak footballing injury on the eve the of the New Year Test in Cape Town cost Burns his place, with six months of sharp progress ending in ankle surgery and a long lay-off.

The expectation was Burns would return at the first time of asking and, while that remains likely whenever England do return to action after lockdown, fellow openers Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have made runs in his absence.

County Championship form would have gone a long way to settling the issue but with no cricket at all until at least May 28 and the prospect of the first-class season being wiped out entirely, Burns is in limbo.

He said: ‘When I first got injured people were saying, “You’ll go straight back in” but I was thinking, “Will I?”. I’ve never just expected anything in my career, I have always been a person to go back out there and put up some numbers to make my case.

‘Selection is above my pay grade — I’m used to doing it for Surrey but England is different. Does it go back to who has got credit in the bank? I just hope whatever way they go with it I can put my best foot forward when I do get a chance.’

England matches will take precedence in any back-to-action plan but in domestic cricket it is the popular T20 Blast which will move to the front of the queue.

Burns is largely viewed as a red-ball specialist but would not hesitate to throw himself into the format.

‘If that’s the cricket that is going on I’ll want to try and play in it,’ he said. ‘I’m happy to work on the skills I need to get in because you can’t stand still. My red-ball game will always be the foundation but I enjoying being allowed to express myself in limited-overs cricket.’