Former Australian captain-turned pundit Ricky Ponting has reckoned that out-of-form opener Joe Burns time is up after the Queenslander endured yet another failure in the second innings of the ongoing Boxing Day Test against India.
Burns, who has managed just 125 runs in 13 First-Class games this summer, managed a pain-staking 4 runs after he was undone by a peach of a delivery by Umesh Yadav, one that landed on middle-stump before seaming away wickedly to take the opener’s outside edge. That completed a frenetic 10-ball stay for Burns, who nearly got himself run-out before surviving a close LBW call on a brute of a yorker by Jasprit Bumrah.
To make matters worse, Burns even proceeded to take the review when it was clearly evident that the edge had come off his bat. Ponting reckoned that the Queenslander looked in a state of panic throughout his innings and he feels that with Matthew Wade doing a commendable job as an opener, Burns will have to make way once David Warner returns to the side.
”I said after day one if you look at [Matthew] Wade and Burns, even in the first innings of this game, it looks to me that Wade is batting a lot better than Joe Burns. If [David] Warner comes back then, unfortunately, I think right now it probably has to be Burns that goes,” Ricky Ponting said on Channel Seven.
“They stuck with him for the first Test and he did repay them in the second innings there. But the difficult thing with the Australian summer is if you leave Joe Burns out now what’s he going to do? He’s going to play Big Bash cricket, there’s no Sheffield Shield cricket to play. Even Davey Warner hasn’t played a game in a while, but he’ll slot in when he’s fit.
”Everything was happening when Burns was out there. We can see he was in a bit of panic mode – almost got run out twice and had umpire’s call on an LBW decision that went his way. Looked like sheer panic mode from Burns,” he said.
“We did highlight his struggles before the first Test match. He’s now had 13 first-class innings this summer, 125 runs at an average of 10.4. Eight of those dismissals have been caught behind, two bowled and two LBW so that’s never a great sign for an opening batsman. In fact, if you take the 50-odd not-out in the second innings in Adelaide, without that innings he would average 6.1 for the summer.”
There is still a bit of uncertainty around David Warner’s availability for the New Year Test. However, Ponting feels that with the southpaw having started batting in the nets and jogging between the wickets, he would be really surprised if he does not makes it to the team for the 3rd Test.
“What I saw [from Warner on Sunday] was promising signs, the fact he is in the nets batting, doing a bit of jogging between wickets. The fact he is out there doing that 10 or 11 days before the next Test match, I will be very, very surprised if he doesn’t play,” Ponting said.
“I think the next Test is on the seventh, so plenty of time for him to get fully fit. With his record, David Warner walks back into the side.” he added.