Batsman Rory Burns has been overlooked for England by “so-called geniuses” involved in selection because his technique is “slightly different”, says Surrey team-mate Gareth Batty.
Burns, 28, has scored more than 1,000 County Championship runs this season as Surrey won their first title in 16 years – and spinner Batty argues he is “100%” the right man to replace Alastair Cook as England opener.
“If he gets selected – and let’s hope he does – he deserves it,” Batty told BBC Radio 5 live’s Breakfast programme.
“That’s not me being biased, that’s just fact.”
Cook, 33, retired from international cricket this week, after scoring 12,254 runs and 32 centuries in 160 Tests – all England records.
The former captain hit a century in his final Test innings as England beat India by 118 runs to seal a 4-1 series victory, and his latest opening partner Keaton Jennings has been struggling for runs.
Batty claims England selectors should be looking at Surrey skipper Burns’ “productivity” instead of his batting style.
“From what I’ve heard, his technique is slightly different to what we should say is the norm and they’re slightly sceptical about it, some so-called geniuses involved in selection,” said 40-year-old Batty, who played nine Tests for England.
“I would suggest that it’s about the productivity and not the aesthetic value.
“His productivity is better than anybody else in the country – barring Alastair, who has been quite magnificent for England and his county.
“Take him out of the equation – Rory is 100% the only man they can select.”
It shouldn’t even be a discussion – Stewart
Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart told BBC Sport Burns “should be inked into the England squad now”.
He added: “It shouldn’t even be a discussion. He’s done it for four years with us and this year is an even better player. He’s been scoring at home and away, he averages nearly 90 away from the Oval. He is a quick learner and has earned the right to play.
“I trust the selectors to make the right decision, and then we shall see if he can settle into international cricket.
“You never know until you actually play, but I believe technically and mentally he will cope with the top level.”