Burns ruled out of series after football injury

Watch day one of the second Test between South Africa and England, in Cape Town, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Friday

Last Updated: 02/01/20 8:15pm

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England opener Rory Burns sustained an ankle injury playing football in training
England opener Rory Burns sustained an ankle injury playing football in training

England opening batsman Rory Burns has been ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against South Africa after sustaining ankle ligament damage while playing football in training.

The 29-year-old will return home for further assessment and treatment at the earliest convenience, after captain Joe Root inflicted the damage on his team-mates’ left ankle in training on Thursday.

Burns top-scored with 84 in England’s 107-run defeat to South Africa in the first Test at Centurion and could be replaced in the XI by Zak Crawley for the Cape Town Test, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Friday.

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Crawley made his debut batting at No 6 in New Zealand last month but is an opener at county level and scored 820 runs for Kent in County Championship Division One last season.

Burns’ footballing injury follows Jonny Bairstow suffering a similar predicament in Sri Lanka in late 2018 and Sky Sports Cricket’s Nasser Hussain thinks England’s kickabouts could now be scrapped.

“This will open a whole new can of worms because [England’s managing director of cricket] Ashley Giles announced when he first came in that the one thing he wants to stop is football before a game because he sees the number of injuries through it.

Burns top-scored for England at Centurion in the first Test
Burns top-scored for England at Centurion in the first Test

“They are told to play football but to not tackle and have no physical contact. But you know what it’s like when 15 players get together – they can’t hold themselves back.

“You have to balance it. People at home will be thinking ‘we’re not paying them to go out and play football’ but it is their one release. They love it.

“It gets them warm and loose but if you keep having injuries, Giles may well ban it again.”

Nasser: Promote Denly to open

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England Test captain Joe Root joins Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain to discuss decision-making and his evolution as skipper
England Test captain Joe Root joins Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain to discuss decision-making and his evolution as skipper

Hussain says he would promote Joe Denly up to open from No 3 and retain Bairstow, who had looked likely to be replaced by Pope at Newlands with the Surrey batsman over a virus.

“Denly has opened a lot [in county cricket]; he can bat in any position and he’s in good nick,” added Hussain.

“I know that would be messing him around a little bit but there’s not much difference between batting at three and opening.

“Crawley hasn’t had that much cricket on this tour. He played in the last Test match in New Zealand but only got one, so I would probably give Bairstow one more go. This is Bairstow’s ground – he got 150 here last time.

“This isn’t last-chance saloon for him but if he plays here he has to take his chance; if not, England are going to look forward to Crawley.”

Archer a doubt with sore elbow

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England captain Joe Root says it will be a significant blow for the team if an elbow injury rules Jofra Archer out of the second Test against South Africa
England captain Joe Root says it will be a significant blow for the team if an elbow injury rules Jofra Archer out of the second Test against South Africa

Jofra Archer remains a doubt for the second Test with England to make a late call on the seamer’s fitness.

Archer missed Wednesday and Thursday’s training sessions with a sore right elbow and has been for a scan on the issue.

When asked about Archer, Root replied: “It will be another late call. We are still waiting to hear back results-wise from his scan, then we will play it by ear.

“I think it’s a recurring injury and he’s had it before. He did pull up very sore [on Wednesday] and seemed to be in a little pain. It was obviously quite disappointing to see him pull up like that.

“You want to manage a young talent like Jofra – make sure that we don’t blow him out for six months, make sure we get the most out of him for as long as we can.”

Watch day one of the second Test between South Africa and England, in Cape Town, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Friday.

Source : Sky Sports