Joe Burns gears up for SL series in sweaty Chennai

Australia opener Joe Burns looked forward to getting accustomed to the 'similar conditions' to Sri Lanka, where Australia will tour later this month, when he sweated it out at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai.

Joe Burns has now consolidated his position as David Warner’s opening partner.   -  M. Vedhan

Joe Burns has fond memories of Chennai. It was while representing Australia A in the city last season that the Queenslander earned a recall to the National team. He has not looked back since.

Burns is here again, along with a bunch of cricketers from down under, to prepare for the Test series in Sri Lanka beginning later this month. And this 26-year-old Aussie is sweating it out at the MRF Pace Foundation.

“It’s pretty cold now in Australia. So coming here is very good preparation for the Sri Lanka series since the conditions will be similar,” he said here on Tuesday.

Burns has now consolidated his position as David Warner’s opening partner. In 10 Tests, he has 838 runs at 49.29 with three hundreds.

In his last Test, against New Zealand at Christchurch in February, Burns made 170 in the first innings. “It will be nice to carry that confidence into the Test series in Sri Lanka. But the conditions will be different.”

On opening with Warner, he said, “We are good friends off the field and this helps. He is helpful. I try to learn as much as possible from him. He excels in all three formats and there is much to be learnt from how he prepares for each game.”

Apart from honing his skills as a top-order batsman with a wide range of strokes, Burns is developing into a specialist short-leg fielder. “Close catching needs a lot of practice,” he said.

Burns had words of praise for S. Sriram, consultant with the Australian team. “He is really valuable to our group. The game is played in a different way in the sub-continent and he opens up your mind on subtle things such as bat swing, different angles and gaps on the field. Sriram has a lot of knowledge and some very good ideas.”

Having played in the day/night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last November, Burns said, “The pink ball, it is different. There are times when it can be hard to spot the seam.”

Burns added, “But day-night Tests are a great concept. Actually, the matches could be more suitable to India. The pink ball will not move and bounce as much as it did in Australia since the pitches are slower here.”

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