Australia’s Burns fit and raring to go against India in Melbourne

Sydney: There are still many questions over Australia’s opening partnership for the second test against India but one thing is all but certain — Joe Burns will face the new ball at the Melbourne Cricket Ground later this week.

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Burns came into the first Test on an extremely poor run of form — 62 first-class runs in nine innings — but scored a half-century to drive Australia to victory at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday, sealing the win with a six.

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His innings might be destined to be a footnote in the records of that remarkable Test after the Australian bowlers had skittled India for 36, but it clearly did his confidence no harm.

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“I felt fantastic out there, just to get the job done on a fantastic day for Australian cricket, to back up our bowlers, was a really nice feeling,” he told reporters on Monday. “We’re the best team in the world, so we’re confident against every team in every venue. Our bowlers are unbelievable … it’s a great luxury for our team.”

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Burns took a blow to the elbow from a Jasprit Bumrah delivery during Australia’s run chase on Saturday but said he did not anticipate any lasting issues from the injury.

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“Had scans yesterday and there’s no problems, and it’s been great today, so hopefully there’s no further limitations in preparations for the games coming up,” he said.

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Burns played in Adelaide with makeshift opener Matthew Wade and the Queenslander said he had been given no updates on the fitness of potential partners for Melbourne, David Warner (groin) and Will Pucovski (concussion).

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The 31-year-old said he had not been bothered by question marks over his selection before the first test and was clear on what he needed to do over the rest of the series. “We’ve got three very tough test matches,” he said. “My job and my goal is to go on and get match-winning hundreds in those games.”

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