Vodafone Test Series v India
Paine backs Burns over Pucovski for first Test
The Queenslander's combination with David Warner and performances last summer are enough for the Test skipper
16 November 2020, 05:00 PM AEST
Test captain Tim Paine expects Joe Burns to be retained in Australia's XI for the series opener against India, suggesting the opener's recent slump should not overshadow his Test record.
Will Pucovski demanded selection in Australia's 17-man squad for the four-Test series, having become just the eighth player to score consecutive double-centuries in the Marsh Sheffield Shield.
Former captains Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor, Michael Clarke and Kim Hughes have called for Pucovski to debut at Adelaide Oval in light of his sparkling form and the struggles of Burns, who managed just 57 runs from five knocks in the Shield hub.
Coach Justin Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns won't make a final call until Burns and Pucovski open together for Australia A in a three-day game that begins on December 6.
But both selectors appear to be leaning towards the incumbent, with Langer last week highlighting the value of Burns' "chemistry" with David Warner and arguing "we should back the guys" in the team.
Paine, speaking to reporters after being confirmed as Hobart Hurricanes' latest signing, is not a selector but made it clear he believes Burns should not be dropped.
"Burnsy had a really good summer for us last year with David Warner, their partnership and relationship is a really important one for our team," the Test captain said.
"They got us off to a number of good starts last year.
"Burnsy hasn't been in the form that he would like or scored the runs he would like.
"But we know he does a good job.
"He averages close to 40 in Test cricket for Australia, which is a great effort opening the batting, and I expect him to start this summer."
Burns was recalled at the start of 2019-20 and played all five Tests of that season, sharing an opening stand worth 100 runs or more with Warner on six occasions.
The Queenslander scored 97 in that summer's first Test against Pakistan then tallied 159 runs from his next seven Test knocks.
Paine, who later on Monday morning was told to self isolate at home as per the state's guidelines for anybody who had recently visited Adelaide, had mixed emotions about Virat Kohli returning to India after the first Test.
"Disappointed for Australian cricket fans that will only get to see a little bit of him. As a player you want to play against the best and beat them," the wicketkeeper said.
"But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a side of me that said I was slightly happy he won't be there for three of the Test matches."
India Tour of Australia 2020-21
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Australia ODI & T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c) (first Test only), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan
Dettol ODI Series v India
First ODI: November 27, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT
Dettol T20 INTL Series v India
First T20: December 4, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm AEDT
Second T20: December 6, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Third T20: December 8, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Australia A v India A, December 6-8, Drummoyne Oval
Australia A v Indians, December 11-13, SCG (day-night)
Vodafone Test Series v India
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG, 10.30am AEDT
Third Test: January 7-11, SCG, 10.30am AEDT
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT
*The matches and travel remain subject to any relevant government restrictions or requirements.