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Sport Aussie odd couple prepare for Test reunion

06:30  19 november  2019
06:30  19 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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A top-order Test reunion between Joe Burns and David Warner could be just the tonic as Australia skipper Tim Paine searches for batsmen to support Steve Smith.© AAP Images A top-order Test reunion between Joe Burns and David Warner could be just the tonic as Australia skipper Tim Paine searches for batsmen to support Steve Smith. A top-order Test reunion between Joe Burns and David Warner could be just the tonic as Australia skipper Tim Paine searches for batsmen to support Steve Smith.

Australia begin their Test summer against Pakistan at the Gabba on Thursday having recalled Queensland opener Joe Burns, who is likely to beat Cameron Bancroft to the role as Warner's opening partner.

The recent Ashes retention in England was largely thanks to Smith's historic 774-run haul as Warner, Bancroft and the since-axed Marcus Harris all floundered against the new ball.

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Paine says the clear connection between the recalled Burns and Warner is a positive as they prepare for a reunion three years in the making.

"It's always nice when you can find an opening combination that can get along," said Paine.

"Dave and Joe have a unique relationship; they're both a bit different, both rare units and they can sort of keep each other entertained."

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer's close bond was well documented on their way to 5655 runs together at the top of the Australian order - second most in Test history - and Matthew Wade says the Warner-Burns connection is plain to see.

"I think you have to be a little bit weird to want to open the batting and they get along really well; I know the banter flies around at training with those two," said Wade.

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"If they get the chance to get back together I'm sure they'll be happy with that."

Warner and Burns opened together 19 times in Tests between 2015-16, amassing 842 runs at 44.31 with four century stands.

Three of those came in their first three partnerships - two of them at the Gabba as Burns motored to a maiden Test century.

But the duo couldn't manage more than three runs between them in their last six partnerships, the most recent being the Hobart nightmare against a rampant South Africa in 2016.

Back together again after suspensions and non-selections, their union could now become Warner's most successful.

Of the 12 different combinations he's formed, Ed Cowan (1245 runs at 44.85) and Chris Rogers (2053 @ 51.32) have been the most fruitful.

Swift progress towards those marks would please Paine, who admits Australia can't afford to lean heavily on Smith this summer.

"We want to get an opening partnership that puts runs on the board, does it consistently for a number of years," he said.

"I know they enjoy batting together, so we're certainly hopeful that jells back quickly again."

WARNER'S BEST OPENING PARTNERSHIPS

* Warner-Rogers - 41 innings, 2053 runs @ 51.32

* Warner-Cowan - 28 innings, 1256 runs @ 44.85

* Warner-Burns - 19 innings, 842 runs @ 44.31

* Warner-Bancroft - 18 innings, 771 runs @ 45.35

* Warner-Renshaw - 16 innings, 640 runs @ 40

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