Langer hints at preference for Burns over Pucovski


Australia coach Justin Langer is reluctant to split up the opening pairing of Joe Burns and David Warner for is Test XI to face India.

Langer appears intent on backing Burns despite the incredible form of Victoria opener Will Pucovksi, who has smashed back-to-back double-tons in Sheffield Shield cricket.

Warner and Burns backed

Warner and Burns have put on six century stands together and average 50.55 for the first wicket in Tests.

“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,” Langer explained.

“When guys have done a really good job for us – like in this case that Joe and Davey did for us last summer – there’s a reason we’re ranked the No.1 team in Test cricket.

“We should never underestimate the job the guys have done to get us to where we are. We went through a period when there were 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.”

Burns hasn’t got going in first-class cricket this term but Langer wants to get a closer look at him and Pucovksi when Australia A take on India in a red-ball warm-up match.

“Joe Burns has done really well for us,” he said. “Will Pucovski, we are really looking forward to seeing how he steps up to Australia A. It will be great to see him play against India, a new step up for him, so it’s an exciting time. Competition is healthy.”

Pucovski acknowledged

Australia Burns
Will Pucovski of Victoria bats during day two of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 30, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Langer did insist that he recognised the form of Pucovski and another in-form young gun in Cameron Green.

 “[Will’s] been amazing hasn’t he, and it’s exactly what we are looking for,” Langer added. 

“I’ve said it for a very long time that we want guys who are outside of the team to bang so hard you can’t ignore them. The fact is he’s been so good we can’t ignore him, he’s been brilliant.

“What Will’s doing, what Cameron Green has done, is making a real statement through sheer weight of runs and that’s always been a strong foundation for the strength of Australian cricket.”