Cricket Article

Burns or Pucovski: Warner on the Fence on Opening Partner

Burns or Pucovski: Warner on the Fence on Opening Partner Photo: TT
Australian batsmen David Warner (L) and Joe Burns (R) react during day one of the first Test match between Australia and New Zealand at Optus Stadium

Australian opening batsman David Warner refused to fully endorse Joe Burns as his partner at the top of the order for the upcoming Test Series against India but he still offered him a big rap.

Warner and Burns opened the batting for Australia during a successful home Test summer in 2019-20 which included big wins over New Zealand and Pakistan.

But Burns’ spot in the side has come under question, having never fully convinced at Test level, and after a lean start to the Sheffield Shield season, which has been untimely with emerging youngster Will Pucovski banging down the door after back-to-back double centuries.

Australia coach Justin Langer hinted recently that he’d stick with the incumbent options, reinforcing the belief that you don’t change a winning side. But the highly-rated Pucovski’s form is compelling.

“I’ve had over a dozen opening partners and it’s never been quite stable,” said Warner, who has played 84 Test matches for Australia and scored over 7000 runs.

“I think they gave me the opportunity to ask me who I feel comfortable with, and when I was batting with (Chris) Rogers we had a great partnership and we bonded really well together out in the middle.

“I think with me and Joe, we’ve done that over the past few years. I’ve known Joe for a long time, we’ve played out in the middle together, we know each other’s game very well, but it’s upon the selectors to pick the right person to fit that position.

“If they go the way of Will, he’s batting fantastic, he’s been in and out of the Test squad and he removed himself with some sad times with his mental stuff so for him he’s in the right frame of mind at the moment, it probably is an opportunity for him to come into the team.

“But as we know it’s harder to get out of this team than get in, so whoever they go with, I’ll be well and truly happy with, as long as the person who comes in does their job.

“At the moment I didn’t think Joe did anything wrong last summer, we put on some great partnerships, averaged over 60 and that’s what you want from your opening partnership. It’s upon the selectors to pick their team and I’ve got to be happy with that and embrace it.”

The opening position seems the only part of conjecture in the Australian XI ahead of the First Test in Adelaide which is due to start on December 21.

Prior to that the two nations will do battle in two white-ball series, with three One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals, commencing on Friday.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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