The fifth and final Test against India at The Oval will mark the end of Alastair Cook's international career. He will end his career as England's highest run-getter in Tests and former England skipper Alec Stewart has named Rory Burns as his perfect replacement for Cook.
Stewart who is also Surrey's Director of Cricket has further said that Burns has "earned the right" to succeed Cook after consistent performances in first-class cricket. Burns has got to 1000 first-class runs for the fifth consecutive time this summer which also highlights his form.
“[Burns] has scored runs aplenty in Championship cricket for four or five years now so he has earned the right,” Stewart told Sky Sports News. “People will say I am biased but I look at it from a neutral point of view and if he isn’t the replacement then I will have a lot to say. He has earned the right to play and then it’s down to him. Can he deal with everything international cricket throws at you? Is his temperament right?
“I’ll say yes. I’d be very comfortable in recommending him to the selectors if asked and saying that he is the right person to step up. He may face his ball in Test cricket opening the batting against spin [in Sri Lanka in November] and that will be something new to him but you hope, given the opportunity, that he will settle in to international cricket.”
Burns, 28, boasts a first-class batting average of 43.92 with 14 hundreds in 103 matches. Since becoming captain of Surrey ahead of the current county season, Burns is averaging 64.07 and Surrey are top of the County Championship in Division One.
Stewart has backed Burns to succeed given his technical skills as an opener. “You are never going to fill the shoes of Cook but [Rory] could at least have a good run opening the batting home and away so he can bed in and show the qualities he has shown for Surrey,” he said. “Opening the batting has been hard – you are against a brand new ball and some of the surfaces around the world have been difficult, it’s seamed, it’s swung. At the same time it is still a ball coming down the wicket and if you have a method, technique and mental strength to deal with the highs and the lows, you go a long way to being successful at the top level.”
England travel to Sri Lanka in the winter to play a Test series followed by a tour of the West Indies in 2019.
(Inputs from Cricket Country)