IND v AUS 2020: ‘They’re a team that you can’t take lightly’ – Joe Burns opens up on Test preparations versus India

Joe Burns (L) and David Warner (R) during the Sydney Test against New Zealand in January this year

Will Pucovski after reaching his double-hundred against Western Australia last month

Australian opener Joe Burns highlighted the importance of blunting the new ball in Test matches, heaping praise on India’s bowling attack for the forthcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The 4-match Test series starts with a pink ball Test at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.

India’s Test series victories of late have revolved around their fiery pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Umesh Yadav. Joe Burns, at a virtual media conference, praised the Indian bowling attack and expressed intent in negating the visitors’ “world-class outfit”.

“It’s the role of the openers. It’s not always the runs you make. Sometimes it’s the balls you can face and the pressure you can absorb that goes a long way to getting results,” said the Aussie opener.

“Their bowling attack has stayed together for a long time now, so we’ve all seen their bowlers, they’re very skillful and they’re going to pose a huge threat. They’re a team that you can’t take lightly, they’re a world-class outfit and their bowling attack plays a big part in that,” Joe Burns said.

A couple of 3-day practice games are scheduled before the commencement of the Test series. The ‘A’ sides will clash from December 6-8 at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney, while the second game will be a match-up between the main teams under lights at the Sydney Cricket Ground, from December 11-13.

Joe Burns wants to make the most of the two warm-up matches, in order to get into the groove and begin the Test series on a positive note.

“The focus is always about trying to win games and starting this week with Australia A. It’s about getting our preparations sorted for the Test series but also putting India on the back foot, landing the first punch, and making sure they don’t take any momentum into what’s going to be a fantastic series…If we start well, it’s going to go a long way to winning the series,” Joe Burns elaborated.

All this while, there was speculation around whether Joe Burns or William Pucovski would partner David Warner at the top of the order. However, the southpaw’s groin injury means 22-year-old Pucovski is set to make his Australia debut alongside Joe Burns.

Commenting on going out to bat with a new partner, Joe Burns drew attention to the magnitude of the practice matches, which he reckons will help the duo understand each other’s batting styles better.

“I haven’t had a chance to bat too often with Will. So the Australia A game and the lead-up to it, it’s a crucial part of our preparation as a Test squad. It’s exciting, Will’s obviously in good form. He’s earned his spot in the squad and I am just looking forward to getting to work with him and getting stuck in,” Joe Burns reasoned.

While Pucovski is coming off successive double hundreds, Joe Burns has only managed a top score of 29 in his last five Sheffield Shield innings. The 31-year-old, however, added that he has recently spent individual time with Australia’s batting coach and tried to get the basics right.

“The last few weeks I actually got a chance to go away to Byron Bay and worked with our batting coach Adam Hollioake. The key thing was to work on just patience. So I’ve faced thousands of balls and just tried to face each ball like it’s my first one,” Joe Burns, who has scored 1,379 Test runs at an average of 38.31, concluded.

Joe Burns scored 256 runs in 8 innings across the Pakistan and New Zealand series during the 2019-20 Australian summer.


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