Ricky Ponting has questioned the wisdom of asking David Warner for his opinion on the battle to be his opening partner in the first Test against India.
Selectors will consult with Warner and forensically study Will Pucovski and Joe Burns’ form in tour games before making a call regarding Australia’s opening partnership for the Adelaide Oval clash.
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Pucovski and Burns are set to open together for Australia A in Sydney next month.
Chairman of selectors Trevor 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.”
However Aussie legend Ponting says he doesn’t understand that logic.
“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.”
Paine back Burns, ex-captains call for Pucovski
Tim Paine says he expects Burns to be retained in Australia's XI for the series opener against India, 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 at Adelaide Oval in light of his sparkling form and the struggles of Burns, who managed just 57 runs from five knocks in the Shield hub.
Paine, speaking to reporters after being confirmed as Hobart Hurricanes’ latest signing, 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.”
Burns was recalled at the start of 2019-20 and played all five Tests of that season, sharing an opening stand worth 100 runs or more with Warner on six occasions.
The Queenslander scored 97 in that summer's first Test against Pakistan then tallied 159 runs from his next seven Test knocks.
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