'Hope he makes no runs': Aussie's brutal sledge for Indian struggler

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Joe Burns is seen here being congratulated by Australia's coach in the first Test.
Joe Burns was thankful for the faith shown in him by coach Justin Langer and the Aussie selectors. Pic: Getty

Joe Burns knows all about what it means to be out-of-form and in danger of being dropped, but don't expect him to show any sympathy when it comes to India.

The tourists are expected to swing the axe for the second Test at the MCG, with struggling India opener Prithvi Shaw one of two batsmen on the chopping block.

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Shaw made 0 and 4 runs in his two digs during the first Test at Adelaide Oval, with Shubman Gill and KL Rahul both touted as possible replacements.

Burns himself faced intense scrutiny and calls to be axed after a woeful run of form in the lead-up to the first Test, before an unbeaten half century in Australia's second innings gave him a much-needed confidence booster.

However, he was reluctant to dish out any advice for Indian rival Shaw before the Boxing Day Test, preferring instead to take a cheeky swipe at the out-of-sorts opener.

“I wouldn’t give him any advice as I am playing against him. I’m hoping that he makes no runs at all," Burns joked.

“I actually don’t know what form he has been in. I haven’t been following him.

“He is obviously a quality player if he is playing for India. I might give advice at the end of the series, but not after the first game.”

Pictured on the right, Aussie opener Joe Burns and India counterpart Prithvi Shaw on the left.
Joe Burns doesn't want Prithvi Shaw rediscovering his batting form against Australia. Pic: AAP

Burns revealed that coach Justin Langer's words of wisdom helped him find the rhythm needed to beat his batting blues.

The right-handed batsman was under immense pressure at the start of Australia's four-Test series against India, having scored 62 runs from nine first-class knocks this season.

But Langer and selectors never wavered in their belief the incumbent batsman would find form, even after Allan Border and other greats lined up to declare Burns must be axed.

Burns scrapped for 17 overs at the start of Australia's first innings of the day-night Test, scoring eight.

The Queenslander's second knock in Adelaide was only 16 minutes longer than his first dig but notably more productive, containing seven fours and a six that completed his half-century and an eight-wicket win.

It was exactly the sort of intent that Langer had urged Burns, who finished 51 not out at Adelaide Oval, to show during a pre-Test pep talk.

Burns praises Aussie coach

"Those conversations I had with Justin (Langer) were fantastic. JL has been through it all before. He knows what it's like to open the batting for his country," Burns said.

"Very relatable.

"The message from JL was about finding rhythm ... he wanted me to really play my shots at training and just be strong-minded.

"The message was 'you miss out in a few games, it doesn't change your ability, confidence, mindset, preparation, job - find some rhythm and stick it to them when you get out there'."

Langer and Burns shared a long on-field hug after the victory.

Langer and captain Tim Paine had both been vocal in their support of Burns during recent weeks - privately and publicly - as speculation swirled about Australia's likely XI.

"It's always a special feeling when you're not making runs and you've got someone in your corner," Burns said.

"I had great conversations with Tim, great conversations with all the guys. The first day coming back into camp for the first Test, it just felt like being home again.

The Queenslander revealed that one shot against India in Adelaide proved the turning point for his batting.

"I've been in this situation many times before and you know how quickly it can turn ... often one shot can give you everything you're searching for.

"The first pull shot off Umesh Yadav ... it hit the middle of the bat and felt amazing."

with AAP

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