Joe Burns back where he belongs


“It’s a very bitter feeling getting bowled around the legs by a leg spinner at the Gabba,” Burns lamented. “I just had to execute and unfortunately I didn’t on that ball.”

The slow walk back to the dressing room said it all. It was in stark contrast to Warner’s jubilant celebration, featuring his trademark leap in the air and fist pump towards the sky. Yet Burns had done more than enough, or it least it should be, to keep him safe for the home summer.

The right-hander missed out on a spot in the Ashes squad despite a thumping 180 in the previous Test. The return of  Warner from suspension was one of the reasons for his omission.

Together again … David Warner and Joe Burns.Credit:Getty

Now they are back together and looking like a duo who deserve an extended run at the top of the order. Chemistry remains a key ingredient of the best opening combinations and Burns and Warner seem to react as well as any of the potential combinations.

They average 53.2 as an opening pair. Only Bill Brown/Jack Fingleton  with 63.75, Bill Lawry/Bob Simpson (60.94) and Simon Katich/Shane Watson (54.39) do better among those with 1000 runs or more as a unit.

The Gabba, especially, has made for good hunting. They have 564 runs together from just three innings. It took Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer eight innings to make 563.

Warner waxed lyrical after the match about his friendship with Burns and the manner in which they interact on the field. That alone should weigh heavily in Burns’ favour as he strives to leap off the selection roundabout.

“The success we’ve had together, especially at home, has been fantastic. We just have this energy about us,” Warner said. “The most important thing is rotating strike… when we do that well, it’s hard for bowlers to put it on the spot every time.

“Knowing each other’s roles when we are out there, we do that very well.”

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Burns said he always felt at easy batting with Warner, who is usually the one turning the pressure back on the bowlers and taking a lead role in the scoring.

“The left-hand, right-hand (combination) always helps. Batting with Dave is easy, there’s no pressure to score,” Burns said.

“It’s just the engagement; we’re always talking about the bowlers and where the threats are. As the innings develops, there will be scoring opportunities to take advantage of for both of us.”

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