Rory Burns received a stroke of luck in his return to the English Test team but still wasn’t able to trouble the scorers.

The opener appeared to nick the sixth ball he faced from Mitchell Starc from the first over of the touring team’s innings in replay to Australia’s total of 303.

None of the Australian players appealed even though replays indicated there was a noise as the ball passed the outside edge on the way to Alex Carey’s gloves.

Shane Warne on Fox Cricket was adamant Burns had nicked the ball and was baffled why they did not appeal or try a DRS referral.

Four balls later, Burns hesitated at the non-striker’s end when called through for a tight single by opening partner Zak Crawley and that moment of indecision proved crucial as he was run out by a direct hit from Marnus Labuschagne by the barest of margins.

Burns, who famously fell to Starc when bowled by the first ball of the series, was on his way for his eighth duck in his past 22 Test innings in his comeback game after being left out of the team for the MCG and SCG Ashes contests.

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting was unimpressed with Burns’ effort on Seven commentary.

“I want to make a bit of a point of this. There had to be more desperation there from Rory Burns,” he said.

“He’s back into the side, fighting for his Test career and he’s not willing to put in a big dive to try and save his wicket. I know it’s not his fault, not his call. But you can imagine Marnus Labuschagne in that situation, he would have been diving from two or three years out from the crease.”

Burns has scored 51 runs in the series at 10.2 while his six ducks in 2021 were the most in a calendar year by anyone in the top seven batting positions.

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