Ian Chappell has echoed the sentiments of Ricky Ponting and questioned why selectors would consult David Warner when deciding his opening partner for the first Test against India.
Joe Burns and Will Pucovski are thought to be fighting for one spot in Australia’s XI, with incumbent opener Burns hoping to retain his spot despite the incredible Sheffield Shield form of Pucovski.
Last week Ponting said he was “surprised” to hear chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns say he would get Warner’s opinion about whether Burns or Pucovski should get the nod.
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And on Sunday fellow former Test captain Chappell also criticised the idea.
“That's ridiculous to ask David Warner who he wants as a partner,” he told Nine News.
“Really, that’s another reason to pick Pucovski now because you’ve got a very good player at the other end and a very experienced player at the other end.
“You pick a guy at the best time for him to succeed, well there’s no better time for him to succeed than when he’s coming off the back of a couple of double-hundreds.
“Find out if he can cope with it at the next level. If he can't, it'll be very sad. If he succeeds, you've got him for the next 10 and maybe even 15 years as a really good player. Burns isn’t your future.”
Hohns said selectors will consult with Warner and forensically study Pucovski and Burns’ form in tour games before making a call regarding Australia’s opening partnership for the Adelaide Oval clash.
Pucovski and Burns are set to open together for Australia A in Sydney next month.
Hohns indicated those games could potentially decide whether the upstart or the incumbent is picked for the series opener that starts on December 17, adding that selectors would also seek Warner’s opinion.
“He (Warner) is a very senior player, he’s very experienced,” Hohns said.
“It's important he’s comfortable as well, provided we are of course, with the person he opens with.
“It goes a long way in forming an opening partnership ... we certainly do consult players on such issues.”
“I'm surprised they’re even asking (Warner), to be honest,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“I know what they're talking about because they have done well when they've played together. It’s an interesting thing for a selector to come out and say.
“At the end of the day, they've just got to pick who they think the best player is.
“And if they think their best player and best option is Joe Burns, then stick with him. If they think Pucovski is a better player here and now, they should go with him.”
Burns gets vote of approval from Tim Paine
Last week captain Tim Paine said he expects Burns to be retained, suggesting the opener’s recent slump should not overshadow his Test record.
Pucovski demanded selection in Australia's 17-man squad for the four-Test series, having become just the eighth player to score consecutive double-centuries in the Sheffield Shield.
Former captains Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor, Michael Clarke and Kim Hughes have called for Pucovski to debut in light of his sparkling form and the struggles of Burns, who managed just 57 runs from five knocks in the Shield hub.
Paine is not a selector but made it clear he believes Burns should not be dropped.
“Burnsy had a really good summer for us last year with David Warner, their partnership and relationship is a really important one for our team,” the Test captain said.
“They got us off to a number of good starts last year.
“Burnsy hasn’t been in the form that he would like or scored the runs he would like.
“But we know he does a good job.
“He averages close to 40 in Test cricket for Australia, which is a great effort opening the batting, and I expect him to start this summer.”
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