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Tim Paine reveals his pick between Will Pucovski and Joe Burns ahead of Test Series against India

By Bet Barter

November 17, 2020

With the Border-Gavaskar Series set to take its course, everyone is contemplating a potential Australian opener for the test series against India. There are two likely candidates: Will Pucovski and Joe Burns. Either one of them will get a chance to open for Australia alongside David Warner.

The Australian National Team will host India on 27th November. The tour will comprise a total of 10 matches: 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 4 Test Matches. The ODIs will be wrapped up by 2nd December. Following that, the T20I matches will begin on 4th December and end on 8th December. A week prior to that, the Test Series will commence on the 17th of December.

Many Australian cricketers and pundits, including the likes of Ian Chapell, Michael Clarke, and Mark Taylor have had their say on the Pucovski-Burns debate. Most of them have backed Will Pucovski to open alongside David Warner.

Who is Tim Paine's pick to start?

Tim Paine, however, holds an opinion contrary to that of other pundits and cricketers. The Australian captain has opted for Joe Burns to open for the Australian National Team. He said that a very strong partnership developed between Warner and Burns last year. Paine believes that such a partnership is essential for the team to get a good start. He has admitted that Joe Burns has not been in his best form for a while. However, he is hopeful that Burns will be able to repeat heroics similar to last summer. Burns managed to smack 256 runs last year, averaging at 32. Burns was also the Kangaroo’s third-highest run-getter last year.

Highly rated by several pundits, Will Pucovski was a part of the Australia A and Test squad. He has been a consistent performer with the bat, displaying his skill on quite a few occasions. His selection was inevitable as he managed to hit two consecutive hundreds in the Sheffield Shield. Burns, meanwhile, has failed to deliver for quite a while. He only managed to score 57 runs in 5 innings. Most importantly, his highest score was just 20. With an average of just 11.40 in his last 5 games, it is quite evident.

Burns has also been backed by coach Justin Langer and Trevor Hohns, indicating that the odds are more in his favor. With Burns having the vote of his captain and coach, it is unlikely for Pucovski to start the test series against India.

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