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Joe Burns vs Will Pucovski: Ricky Ponting picks David Warner’s opening partner for India Tests

Dixit Bhargav

Joe Burns vs Will Pucovski: Ricky Ponting picks David Warner's opening partner for India Tests

Ricky Ponting picks David Warner’s opening partner: The former Australian captain has spoken against making a huge change to the Playing XI.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is surprised at hearing that Australia opening batsman David Warner’s opening partner for the upcoming Test series against India will be decided after consulting him.

It is worth mentioning that the same was communicated by Australian National Selector Trevor Hohns recently when asked about the tight contest between Joe Burns and uncapped Will Pucovski.

“I’m surprised they’re even asking him, to be honest. I know what they’re talking about because they have done well when they’ve played together. It’s an interesting thing for a selector to come out and say.

“At the end of the day, they’ve just got to pick who they think the best player is. And if they think their best player and best option is Joe Burns, then stick with him. If they think [Will] Pucovski is a better player here and now, they should go with him,” Ponting was quoted as saying by this week.

Ricky Ponting picks David Warner’s opening partner

Having scored 495 runs in three innings including a couple of double centuries, Pucovski is the leading run-scorer in the ongoing season’s Sheffield Shield. Burns, on the other hand, has scored 57 runs in five innings at a paltry average of 11.40 to invite some criticism towards his side.

Having opened alongside Warner in all the five Tests last summer, Burns’ 256 runs had come at an average of 32 including a couple of half-centuries. However, with the team doing well in the same period, Ponting has opined against disturbing the balance especially at the top of the order.

“I know when I was captain, I had a pretty strong philosophy with the selectors that once you’re in my team, I wanted to do everything I could to make sure you stayed there. I didn’t want to be making changes and I always felt it was my responsibility as captain to get the absolute best out of the players I had in my team.

“I think it gives individuals a bit more confidence to go out and play a certain way and not be scared about their position in the line-up. That adds a lot around the group. Burns hasn’t done much wrong. If you go back to last summer, he played really well in the first Test in Brisbane and I remember saying then to lock him in and give him a good go at it for a while,” Ponting said.

Much like Ponting, Australia head coach Justin Langer had also given hints regarding persisting with Burns for now. Ponting, however, mentioned that he would pick Pucovski ahead of all-rounder Cameron Green in case a spot in the middle-order opens up.

“I’m just reading the tea leaves a little bit, even with what Justin [Langer] had to say about the relationship between Burns and Warner. My gut feeling is they won’t go to Pucovski just yet.

“[Opening] is just another string to [Pucovski’s] bow. I’m sure if a middle-order spot came up and they weren’t thinking about playing an all-rounder, I’d think his name would be mentioned ahead of Cameron Green,” Ponting added.

About the author

Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav


Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who works as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. Having written more than 10,000 articles across more than five years at TSR, his first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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