AUS v IND 2020-21: Joe Burns hoping to get an edge over Indian bowlers in warm-up fixtures before Tests

Burns also has a slump with the bat to overcome while facing Jasprit Bumrah & co.

Joe Burns | GettyAcknowledging the much-fancied Indian bowling attack as a "huge threat", Australian Test opener Joe Burns said the hosts will try to put Jasprit Bumrah & co under the pump during the two practice matches and get an edge over them before the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

Having already made a statement of sorts by winning the ODI series 2-1 at the beginning of the summer, the Australians want to fine-tune their preparations with the two three-day warm-up games that precede the four-Test series, beginning December 17. 

Read Also: David Warner backs Joe Burns to open the innings with him against India in Tests

Most of India's first-choice Test personnel, including Bumrah and his experienced pace mate Mohammad Shami, are expected to take part in what will be their first taste of red-ball cricket since the Tests in March against New Zealand. 

Being an opening batsman, Burns wants to be at the forefront of landing the "first punch"

"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," he said during a virtual news conference, as quoted by PTI

"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."

"Their bowling attack has stayed together for a long time now, so we've all seen their bowlers, but 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."

"We'll prepare really well for this game and do as much preparation as we can (for Adelaide Test) and make sure we are really prepared for a really tough battle. If we can start well it's going to go a long way to winning the series."

Australia A will be taking on the Indians in one red-ball game from December 6 to 8 and a pink-ball outing from December 11-13. 

Burns said it'll be key for him to adjust quickly at the top with Will Pucovski, his direct Test competitor, whom he'll be opening alongside in the practice games. 

"I haven't had a chance to bat too often with Will," he said. "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 really good form. He's earned his spot in the squad and I'm just looking forward to getting to work with him and getting stuck in."

For Burns, personally, there is also a point to prove through those fixtures that the team management is in the right with their backing of him despite poor form in the lead-up to the Test summer. 

The 31-year-old right-hand batsman had a top-score of 29 runs after five innings in the Sheffield Shield this season, which only gained strength to Pucovski's claim of an early Test debut and led to criticism of head coach Justin Langer and skipper Tim Paine for sticking with Burns.

"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."

"The real basics of the game -- if you do the basics well, you can't go too far wrong," Burns signed off. 


By Kashish Chadha - 03 Dec, 2020

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