27th November 2020



David Warner: Test opener says his bond with partner Joe Burns is ‘strong’

David Warner has let slip a big hint in who he wants to open with this summer as Joe Burns and Will Pucovski fight it out for one spot.

David Warner says the “bond” between openers is as important as current form and will talk honestly with selectors if asked about who his preferred opening partner would be for the first Test against India.

Incumbent Joe Burns and Victorian batting dynamo Will Pucovski are both vying to walk out with Warner in Adelaide next month.

Burns remains the frontrunner and has the backing of coach Justin Langer despite failing to pass 30 in five Sheffield Shield innings.

Pucovski rocketed into contention after making two double hundreds as a first-time opener, and several greats, including former captain and selector Greg Chappell, said the 22-year-old was ready to be picked in the Test team.

It’s been revealed selectors will consult Warner on who his preferred opening partner would be, and he said he’d be “honest” with chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns and coach Justin Langer when consulted.

Warner said it would be a big call to break up a partnership that was working.

“I don’t think Joe did anything wrong last summer. We averaged over 60 and that’s what you want from your opening partnership, ” he said on Monday.

“For me you don’t actually break something that is working.

“I’ve had over a dozen opening partners, and it’s never been quite stable. When I was batting with (Chris) Rogers … we bonded really well. It’s about building that bond and relationship.

With me and Joe we have done that over the past few years. I know exactly what we are about when we are out there. We won a lot of games last year.”

Australia didn’t lose a Test last summer to Pakistan or New Zealand with Warner and Burns opening.

But Warner conceded the Australia A clash with India early next month, in which Burns and Pucovski will both play, could be the “tell all” for selectors.

“This next game, the (Australia A) game is probably going to be the tell-all, it could be the bat-off for that position,” he said.

“You have to put up numbers to be in the Australian team.

“But at the end of the day it’s on the selectors to pick the right team.

“If they go the way of Will, he’s been batting fantastic and been in and out of the Test squad, for him he’s in the right frame of mind at the moment. It probably is an opportunity for him to come into the Test team.

Warner was one of few Aussies to perform in the IPL, smashing 548 runs, with four 50s, for Sunrisers, finishing third overall on the run-scoring table.

He said he would continue to be attacking when the ODI series against India starts on Friday but was much better now at being disciplined as well to make the most out of every batting opportunity.

“I’ve recently turned 34 so my days are numbered. There is a risk element but a cricket smarts element as well,” Warner said.

“It’s about calculated risk. For me it’s about making sure as much as I can batting at a good strike rate.

“You keep learning as you get older, you don’t always have this game down pat, you have to be thinking outside the square.”

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