Langer backs Burns to retain opening slot in first Check


Melbourne, November 13

Australia head coach Justin Langer has hinted that he is likely to stick with Joe Burns at the opening position with David Warner for the first Test of the four-match series against India despite young Will Pucovski’s incredible form.

Burns averaged 32 for Australia last summer and had below-par start to the Marsh Sheffield Shield season with 57 runs at 11.40.

The 22-year-old Pucovski, on the other hand, has produced successive double hundreds, scoring 202 against Western Australia after an unbeaten 255 against South Australia.

“Will Pucovski is doing everything that’s humanly possible to play that first Test, and that’s something we have to weigh up …,” Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“…last time we played Test cricket, we loved the combination of Joe Burns and David Warner. They’ve got a real synergy, they work well together, so at this point I’d say that’ll remain the same,” he added.

Burns and Warner has scored 1,365 runs at 50.56 as an opening pair, playing an important role in Australia’s ascent to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

“…we should (also) never underestimate the job the guys have done to get us to where we are, and that philosophy and attitude has been a really strong part of the success of Australian cricket for a long time,” Langer said.

“We went through a period where there was lots of ins and outs, and in my view, we should back the guys in there. That can change, but it’s a pretty strong philosophy to stick to.”

India will start the four-Test series with the opening Day-Night game in Adelaide on January 17 and Langer believes the opening position will get much clearer after Australia’s first three-day tour game.

“It’s always nice when you’re going into a Test match for the players to know as far out as possible who’s going to be playing,” he said, adding: “Things can change, but I’d say (the media) will have a better idea who’s going to open in the first Test match after that first Australia A game.”

India’s tour of Australia begins with three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals followed by Tests.

The limited over series ends with the third T20I in Sydney on December 8, while the two tour matches will be held in Drummoyne Oval and SCG from December 6 to 8 and December 11 to 13, respectively.

“…we’ll take 15 to Adelaide and might leave a couple to play that second (tour game),” Langer said.

“If they’re just outside the 15, the best practice for them, particularly if it’s a couple of young guys like Will and Cameron Green … to play India twice in lead-up games would be great for their experience…” PTI



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