Bengaluru, November 20: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed the struggling Joe Burns ahead of in-form Will Pucovski to open the innings with David Warner in the home series against India. The first of the four-match series begins with the day/night pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval on December. Burns has been struggling of late, while the young Pucovski made it to the squad on the basis on a string of consistent scores in domestic cricket.
Despite that the Australian great believes Burns need to be persisted with. “Burns hasn’t done much wrong. If you go back to last summer, he played really well in the first Test in Brisbane and I remember saying then to lock him in and give him a good go at it for a while. “We read a lot into what’s happened in the first few rounds of Shield cricket, and because they haven’t played a Test match for so long, a lot people are forgetting what happened last summer,” said Ponting.
Pucovski is coming off back-to-back double hundreds in the Sheffield Shield and is in sensational form. His inclusion has set up a competition with Burns, who is feeling the heat after a disastrous start to the first-class summer. “But I think that’s where this one becomes a unique one; Burns is about 30, and you’ve got a young guy who seems to be at the peak of his powers, who’s been touted as a very good player for Australia and has been for a few years. “That’s where the decision is going to be a really tough one for them,” the 45-year-old added. Head coach Justin Langer and and skipper Tim Paine both have hinted at persisting with the experienced Burns at the top.