England’s Ashes squad touched down in Australia over the weekend and are wasting little time preparing for the upcoming series.
While Australia’s revered fast-bowlers prepare for the T20 World Cup semi-finals, England’s batters are behind enemy lines plotting their downfall.
The bulk of the English squad touched down on Aussie soil over the weekend and devastating opener Rory Burns says he’s already raring to be unleashed on the “big three” in the Ashes, which begin next month.
And he’s got more than one ace up his sleeve.
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Australia retained the urn after the last Ashes in 2019 but England’s opening batters had the edge on their southern rivals.
For his part, Burns came out of the blocks firing, belting his maiden Test century in the first match of the series. He went on to feature in all four of the remaining Tests and stroked his way to two half-centuries.
He’s hoping to recapture that form this time around.
“From a personal standpoint, I played quite nicely in my only Ashes series to date,” he told reporters on Sunday afternoon (AEDT).
“So there is confidence there.
“Obviously that was in my home conditions and we’re probably going to get some different conditions out here in Australia.”
But Burns says his time playing grade cricket down under will give him insight into handling those conditions.
“The majority of places that I’ve toured in my career so far with England I actually haven’t been to (beforehand),” he said.
“So it’s obviously nice that I’ve been here and I’ve got some experience of the conditions out here.
“A lot of places I’ve (toured) have been spin-friendly, so from that aspect (the Australian pitches) probably suit my skill set a bit more.”
Burns is taking confidence from the fact that he’ll be facing a similar bowling attack to the one he tormented in 2019 — Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will be locks for selection in Australia’s best 11 for the Ashes and all played last time around.
Nevertheless, Burns says he’s well aware that the “big three” of Hazelwood, Starc and Cummins will throw plenty at him.
“It’s obviously a very good bowling attack,” he said.
“They’re pretty relentless when they get it right and they obviously bowl at a good pace.
“I’ve been able to play against them before … (so) I’ve got a good picture of how they operate.”
Before he comes face-to-face with the Aussie bowling unit once more, Burns will be putting in the hard yards in the nets.
“It’s just about taking what’s in front of you every step of the way,” he said.
“Get your prep right and in a good place as you’re going into those games and back yourself.