Rory Burns had no concerns about tackling Australia’s pace attack and is backing England’s bowlers, including Jofra Archer, to strike back against the tourists on day three.
Burns’ 53 was crucial to England on day two of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, with the hosts stumbling to 258 all out.
Jonny Bairstow also scored a half-century before being caught by Usman Khawaja – who squandered a great chance to dismiss Burns earlier in the day.
England finished the day on a high, Stuart Broad dismissing David Warner as Australia managed to get to 30-1 at stumps.
Broad’s fellow opening bowler Archer – on his England Test debut – wasted little time in getting stuck into Australia’s order, delivering several bouncers as the light faded.
Australia’s pacemen had shown a similar lack of mercy earlier in proceedings, with Burns receiving rough treatment, while Pat Cummins struck Chris Woakes on the helmet.
But England’s opener had few issues with facing such fierce bowling.
“[Feeling] pretty good. It’s always nice to get in a scrap a little bit,” Burns told a news conference.
“I got two in the same spot, which was nice. I got in amongst it and tried to tough it out.
“It’s quite an obvious tactic of what they can do. The boys are preparing for it and in this game we can dish out some of our own again.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 15, 2019
Asked if he believed Archer would be targeting Australia’s batsmen with short deliveries, Burns added: “I’d have thought so. He copped a fair few so he’s probably looking forward to getting his own back.”
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon, who took three wickets, is not especially relishing facing Archer.
“Mate, I can’t bat. What do you reckon?” Lyon joked when asked about the prospect in his news conference.
“Even though I can’t bat, I’ll give it a go. Unless you want to do it for me!”