Joe Burns' bad day

In 10 balls, Joe Burns had quite an innings.

Joe Burns' face is in the dirt.

He's fully extended, legs up in the air, throwing himself at the crease after he has tried to run himself out. Not literally, it wasn't a cricketing self-immolation. But there was a tight mid on (not a real fielding position, obs) almost level with the bowler. Burns hits the ball to this fielder's right hand and takes off. There are two left-handers in this side, Rishabh Pant and Ravi Jadeja, so maybe he thought this was one of them. But it was Ravi Ashwin, India's least athletic fielder. Who moved as quick as he can, did a slow turn and then fired at the stumps. That is why Burns' face was in the dirt.

All for one run, not just any run, though, the one that meant he wouldn't get a pair.

A pair, like a hundred, is one of those made up cricket things. Making 0 and 1 is one run better, and just as bad if your job is to make a score and you want to play in another Test. But Burns took off from a solid legside push that was supposed to find a gap, he didn't care. He just needed one run, any run.  And because Ashwin's throw missed, he got one.

This was off Burns' fourth ball.

The first ball was a decent looking shot and the second was sprayed down the legside. At this stage, Joe Burns appeared to be a normal opening batsman going about his business. The third delivery was a leave that felt like it should end with off stump uprooted. Burns smiles and walks down the wicket to do some nervous gardening. Like a wife in a teledrama when the cops are coming over to question where her husband was last Tuesday.

Burns fifth ball ends with him sitting next to the stumps, his bat wafting up, his legs splayed as if a chair has given way beneath him.

It's not the delivery that knocks him down, though it could have. Jasprit Bumrah begins with a ball he summoned by dancing with a white python in a Mexican roadhouse bar. It's not an inswinging yorker, it is the inswinging yorker. It seems to have its own evil intentions. Umpire Bruce Oxenford gives it not out, the real question doesn't seem to be whether it is hitting, it looks like it might be, but if there was any bat on it. Burns isn't concerned by this, he gets up and strolls towards Matthew Wade to tell him that the ball was sliding down.

I am not sure how Burns would know this; he was at no time close enough to the ball to judge its line.

His bat was on the other side of his foot to the ball; which allows for the DRS to be shorter. When ball tracking comes up, the first thing it shows is not the ball heading down leg, but Burns foot sliding. His back leg is up in the air like a starlet having a kiss in old Hollywood, his other foot is a 10 inches outside leg stump, and his hands are clinging on to the bat - which is almost a metre outside off stump - to prop himself up. It's a drunk yoga pose.  How he could have been sure where the ball was going is remarkable. But Burns is right, just. The ball is clipping, umpires call saves him, and he will bat on. He smiles on his way to the crease like a man who just spent his last 20 bucks on a pizza that arrived cold with unwanted anchovies that he is allergic to.

But none of that explains how he ended up on his arse. After Burns regained his balance, he was at a silly point, and he just decided to head off the wicket. He's watching the ball, even though it is behind square, so he doesn't see - and probably hear - Wade signal no run. Burns wouldn't be the only batsman to be almost run out after a close LBW shout; half looking up to see if the umpire is about to give it.

But Burns was looking at the fielder and the ball. He should have seen there was no run, but instead, he takes off and then starts to look at the umpire. If you measure it, the first three steps were him trying to balance, the next two were regular forward momentum, but he takes at least two or three paces down the wicket after seeing the fielder was right next to the ball. He looks lost, as if he's aware there is a monster around him, but is actually running directly towards another one he hasn't seen yet.

Then it all clicks that he's standing outside the crease, and so he turns to dive and ends up back on his face.  And then his bum.

Burns' next ball from Bumrah is wide and slow outside off, it bounces again before reaching the keeper. The following is quicker and better, but also outside off, and he leaves it again. The next ball is fast at around off stump, he defends it slightly on the move and starts to go for a single before calling no.

There is a length ball outside off given next, and he drives into the covers. Fox show a hotspot so you know it was right from the middle. And this is against a fast bowler in Bumrah, with a ball that is 11 balls old. Yet still, as good as the shot looks, even the hard quick ball doesn't find the boundary. He's somehow mishit from the middle of his bat. But he gets three runs and is off strike. Someone in the crowd whistles. It's not quite ironic, but it almost sounds patronising, like a 'well done you', kind of noise.

The tenth ball is really an incredible cricket delivery. Umesh Yadav hasn't used the new ball well in this series so far. To start his second over he angles a delivery in to middle and off. It hits the deck and darts towards the slips. There is a noise, and Paul Reiffel gives it. Burns strolls up the wicket confidently though, he and Wade have a discussion. Burns gestures that the ball hit his pad, Wade doesn't look as convinced.

There is probably a reason Wade is unsure, it's because even if there was no edge, there is still a decent chance that Burns is out LBW. In fact, knowing Burns' luck, there is a 50/50 shot that if he reviews he'll be given out bowled (the ball did actually flick the stumps), run out or convicted of taking the Lindbergh baby. But Wade nods, he actually nods several times. Burns is stuck looking at the big screen, probably trying to see the review timer. When Wade starts his nod, there are about three and a half seconds left on the review clock. But Burns doesn't review, he thinks it over some more.

There is a real 'stopping the bomb at one second' feel to this.

And he does something even more remarkable, Burns is holding the bat in his left hand, and using his right hand to show Wade what he thinks happened. After Wade gives him his support for the review, and with now less than two seconds left, he changes what hand he is holding the bat with. It costs him another second, and as he starts to make the review sign, the timer goes to zero. If you slowed it down, the umpires would probably have found he reviewed too late.

But, not only does that happen, he adds another layer to it by missing his arm with the bat. His hand-eye coordination is so shook that he can't actually make a 'T' sign. And by the time he makes it correctly, he's certainly well beyond his 15-second limit to use the review.

The review takes almost 15 seconds exactly, as if the umpire is trying to troll Burns. There is a clear edge, he's out. You barely get enough time to see him off balance again as he pushes his hands at the ball and then walks down the crease after playing the shot.

In ten balls perhaps the most in control Burns looked was when he let Bumrah know that he wasn't ready to face up to one.

When he leaves the ground, he does so with a sense of urgency that he previously used to run between the wickets. As Burns crosses the rope, the screens on the fence he passes show a close up of him. You can tell it wasn't taken today. Because there is a smile on his face.