Burns under pressure to make XI: Haddin

19 October 2016

Joe Burns was dropped for the third Test in Sri Lanka // Getty

Former Test wicketkeeper backs Khawaja to return at the WACA but is unsure whether a return will be so clear cut for Burns

Former Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin believes Joe Burns is under pressure from a couple of rising stars to win back his place in the Australia XI for the first Commonwealth Bank Test against South Africa in Perth.

Both Burns and fellow Queensland batsman Usman Khawaja were dropped for Australia's third and final Test against Sri Lanka in August, after scoring a total of 34 and 55 runs respectively across the first two Tests.

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While Haddin expects Khawaja to regain his place at No.3 for the first Test beginning November 3, he is not sure a return will be that clear-cut for Burns.

"I expect Khawaja to come straight back in," Haddin told the Big Sports Breakfast radio program on Wednesday.

"I thought he did an outstanding job in New Zealand and in Australian conditions last year.

"I'd expect them to hold on to Shaun Marsh as opener to be perfectly honest, but I hear he's torn his hamstring again, poor kid.

"He seems to do that every time a position looks to be open to him.

"I think Burns could be under pressure from a few young guys in Cameron Bancroft and maybe even Kurtis Patterson."

Marsh is in doubt for the first Test after suffering a low-grade hamstring tear while batting for Western Australia in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup.

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Haddin worked closely with both WA opener Bancroft and NSW batsman Patterson in his role as an assistant coach with Australia A during the winter series in Queensland through July and August.

Bancroft has particularly impressed the former 'keeper, with Haddin suggesting the 23-year-old is close to making his Test debut.

"I was highly impressed with him,” Haddin said.

"He's got a great love for Test cricket, he ticks every box with the passion he shows and his work ethic.

"We just need him now to score some big runs and he'll be straight into that Australian team."

The first Test squad is set to be named on October 28 in Perth, leaving Australia’s Test hopefuls just nine days to prove their wares.

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Beginning on October 25, the first round of the first-class season will feature three day-night matches in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth, with the first Test squad to be named on day four. 

Burns and Khawaja will be aiming to impress in Queensland's clash with NSW at the Gabba, while Bancroft will feature in Western Australia's match with South Australia at the WACA.

Former Test skipper Steve Waugh has also thrown his support behind Bancroft and should a Test call-up eventuate this summer, the Western Australian believes he is ready.

"Last year was one of the best learning curves," Bancroft told News Ltd.

"I put so much pressure on myself, and you learn to deal with the media and things people say and that was probably the best thing I learnt.

"It’s purely out of my control … but if I was to get an opportunity I’d back my game and believe in myself that I could go out and score runs for the team."

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While Australia failed to claim a win against the Proteas in their recent one-day international series in South Africa, Haddin believes it will be a different story on home turf with frontline pacemen Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood set to return.

"I think (South Africa) would have got a lot of confidence out of that ODI series, but it will be a different Australian team once we roll out Starc, Hazlewood off and hopefully Siddle will be back we well,” he said.

"I think it will be a cracker of a series."

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

About the Writer


Laura Jolly is a writer for She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. 

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