Brisbane Heat skipper Jimmy Peirson has backed beleaguered Joe Burns to overcome his batting woes despite a poor return in his opening Big Bash showing at the Gabba.
Burns was dismissed for just one in the Heat’s win against the Sydney Sixers in Brisbane on Saturday night and looked all at sea in his seven-ball stay at the crease, narrowly evading being bowled by Steve O’Keefe after coming down the track to the spinner.
The ONLY place to watch every match of the 2020/21 KFC BBL Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play is on Fox Cricket, available on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
Burns looked a forlorn figure as he trudged off the ground but Peirson believes playing with the Heat can help revive the 31-year-old.
“He’s a great mate of mine who I’ve played a lot of cricket with for Queensland and the Heat now and I was so excited to see him in that Test team,” Peirson said.
“To see him out, I was heartbroken for him. He’s someone who plays with his heart on his sleeve and when he plays for Australia he’s so proud and he’s obviously going through a tough time.
“But he’s a professional and I know what he’s capable of and I think there’s runs around the corner for him in this format.
“That might be the leapfrog that he needs in the back end of this (season) and leading into the rest of the Shield year as well.”
Being around close friends in the Heat hub will only help Burns’ cause, Peirson said.
“Obviously he’s come out of the Test hub and is in our hub now, he’s back in his home state, so there’s a lot of normality around him now and he just needs to get his feet back on the ground and go about his business and he’ll have success for us.”
Burns’ own failure did not harm the Heat’s run chase against the Sydney Sixers, with a 50-run partnership between English all-rounder Lewis Gregory and all-rounder Jack Wildermuth handing them a four-wicket win with seven balls to spare.
The victory – the Heat’s second of the season – keeps their chances of making the BBL finals alive.
“(Our finals chance) is better than slim if we keep winning games,” Peirson said.
“We’re really pleased with that performance. Our bowlers again restricted (a side) to a really competitive total and I still don’t think we’ve put it together with the bat, so once we do that, I think we’ll be a hard team to beat.”
Chris Lynn and Morne Morkel hit in the Gabba nets on Saturday and Lynn rated himself an outside chance of playing against the Sydney Thunder on Monday.
“He’s pushing his body to get back as fast as he can and obviously we want him back as quick as we can, he’s our leader and our best player.
“I’m not sure if we’ll get him or not in a couple of nights or not but when he comes back in, that brings a whole lot of confidence in our batting and our leadership group as well.”
They are set to be without star spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman as early as next week though after the Afghan spinner is called up for international duty in an ODI series against Ireland in the UAE.