Vodafone Test Series v India
Warner points to Burns history in openers race
Warner reflects on his strong bond at Test level with Queenslander Joe Burns while admitting Victorian Will Pucovski's Sheffield Shield form is hard to ignore
23 November 2020, 01:18 PM AEST
David Warner claimed Joe Burns has done enough to stay on as his opening partner but insisted he'll embrace uncapped prodigy Will Pucovski if selected.
The questions of who will partner Warner in next month's first Vodafone Test against India remains one of the biggest talking points leading into the summer.
An Australia A match from December 6 shapes as the most telling trial but already it appears Pucovski will have to out-perform Burns and then some to get the nod.
Selectors have said they will seek Warner's preference on the call, while the likes of coach Justin Langer have also spoken glowingly of Burns.
Warner is known to like opening with the 31-year-old, with the pair turning the strike and rarely letting one bowler bog either batsman down.
But while Burns averaged just 11.4 for Queensland in his five Marsh Sheffield Shield innings so far this summer, Pucovski hit double centuries in two of his three knocks.
"If they go the way of Will, he has batting fantastic and been in and out of the Test squad," Warner said.
"He is in the right frame of mind at the moment. It probably is an opportunity for him to come into the team.
"But as we know it's harder to get out of this team than get in.
"At the moment I didn't think Joe did anything wrong last summer. We had some great partnerships and averaged over 60.
"And that's what you want from your opening partnership. And at the end of the day I have to be happy with it and embrace (whoever they pick)."
Burns was solid last summer with 256 runs at 32 but Australia's last Test is now more than 10 months ago.
Statistically, Warner's combination with Burns is the second best of any regular opening pair in the past decade for Australia.
Together, they have combined six century opening stands and average more than 50 for the first wicket – a record bettered only by Warner's combination with Chris Rogers.
"I have had over a dozen opening partners, and it's never been quite stable," Warner said.
"When I was batting with 'Bucky' Rogers we had a great partnership, and we bonded well together in the middle.
"I think something with me and Joe, we have done it over the past few years. I have known Joe for a long time.
"We have played out in the middle together and know each other's game really well."
Warner on Monday defended questions from the likes of Ian Chappell and Mark Taylor on whether his preference should be considered.
"It's not a thing where the coaches and selectors will come to me and ask me," Warner said. "It's just a preference.
"I have batted time with Joe Burns together in the middle. I know exactly what we are about when we're out there.
"We won a lot of games last year. For me you don't break something that is working."
Vodafone Test Series v India 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
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
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