Burns: Recovered Starc ‘scary’ in training


Speaking in the wake of a number of training sessions at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, Australia batsman Joe Burns has labelled returning paceman Mitchell Starc as 'scary'.

Starc suffered a stress fracture while playing in the first day-night test in History at the Adelaide Oval last November and has since undergone surgery and a lengthy lay-off.

Queensland and Australia’s Burns has been facing both Starc and fellow pace merchant Josh Hazlewood in a number of centre wicket sessions as Australia prepare for a triangular tournament in the West Indies featuring the hosts and South Africa.

Burns has said of Starc: "There were some very scary days facing him, but it’s just great to see him back on the park and bowling express speeds."

Burns found it difficult to deal with the left arm fast bowler’s pace and aggression as well as his ability to skid the ball off the 'spin' wicket prepared ahead of Australia’s tour to Sri Lanka later this year.

"He’s got that ability with the new ball to almost skid it off the lower wickets," the opener said.

Burns has stepped up to international level admirably after Chris Roger’s retirement in the aftermath of Australia’s failure to regain the Ashes and has notched three centuries in the eight tests he has played since the beginning of last summer, including a man-of-the-match performance against New Zealand in Christchurch.

After his first full season in international cricket Burns has been on a break from cricket while many of his teammates, including opening partner David Warner, take part in the IPL in India.

Burns said of Warner: "I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually missing him," while expressing  a desire to return to competitive cricket as soon as possible.

"I’ve been quite bored hanging out in Brisbane, and (been) following him in India and all the Aussie guys in the IPL."

The opener has been preparing largely in solitude but has been joined at the NCC by bowlers Starc, Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe on occasion while also working closely with Queensland coach Phil Jaques.  

Burns is grateful for the time spent with Jaques and said: "I’ve been really lucky with Phil Jaques as the Queensland coach."

Burns noted the value of working with an experienced former international opener: "He was an opening batter that played 11 Tests for Australia, and where I’m at with my career I can learn so much from the lessons that he learned, what he went through, how he developed his game and how he dealt with all the different aspects of international cricket.

"It’s been fantastic working with him, not just technically but the mental side of it as well."

Despite never having toured Sri Lanka before, Burns can call on his experience of touring India with Australia A as well as the banking on the knowledge and experience of the coaching staff he has working with him.

Burns will continue to prepare in isolation, so to speak , but appears unfazed by this claiming: "There’s pretty much seven weeks before we leave (for Sri Lanka) so for the next few weeks I’m still sort of training by myself, which I quite enjoy."