A dramatic scene was witnessed during Australia’s net session on Wednesday when their head coach Justin Langer stormed into the net and was seen talking to under-pressure opener Joe Burns. The right-handed batsman is looking likely to play the first Test but has been awfully out of form.
Joe Burns is yet to score a fifty in the ongoing season. So far, he has managed a meagre 62 runs from nine first-class innings at an average of 6.89. His highest score is 29. The Australia opener’s four most recent scores, against the touring Indians, read a dismal 4, 0, 0 and 1.
Joe Burns is understood to be in a battle with Marcus Harris for the final spot in the XI for the first Test. Matthew Wade looks set to move up to the top of the order following confirmation all-rounder Cameron Green will debut if he passes concussion protocols on Thursday.
And Justin Langer dropped a big hint that Joe Burns is in line to open along with Wade as he was personally monitoring the opener’s net session. But he was just one ball into his practice when Langer halted proceedings. Indian cricket journalist Bharat Sundaresan said it was clear to observers that Langer saw something he did not like.
“It was an innocuous length delivery from a net bowler bowling left-arm pace, which Burns flicked around the corner. But in that brief moment, Langer seemed to have spotted an issue that he felt needed immediate attention,” Sundaresan wrote for CricBuzz.
“To the extent that he literally stormed into the net to grab a hold of the out-of-form batsman. What followed was an animated chat of about a minute with Langer seemingly laying down the law.
“It wasn’t obvious from afar what it was that the coach was asking of the right-hander. But it seemed very clear that whatever it was Langer needed Burns to do was non-negotiable,” he added.
Here is a clip of the incident:
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 15, 2020