Opening batsman Joe Burns has been dropped from Australia’s Test team… probably for the last time!
Aged 31, with 1442 runs including four centuries, Burns has been a little unlucky to be dropped and recalled on multiple occasions previously but this time it seems terminal. Despite an undefeated half-century in the first Test against India, he reverted to recent woeful form in the second Test. With Will Pucovski now fit, he’ll belatedly make his Test bow… well, unless David Warner really is fit, then Pucovski may still have to wait. Either way, temporary opener Matthew Wade will probably drop into the middle order with much criticised Travis Head being harshly axed.
With the likes of Jake Weatherald, Daniel Hughes, Nic Maddinson and younger players coming through too, it’s surely the end for Burns. That said, an insatiable run of form could earn him yet another recall. Shaun Marsh was famously in and out of the side and Australia haven’t hesitated in selecting older players. Chris Rogers was one whilst Moises Henriques featured recently.
For now, it’s back to Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash for beleaguered Burns!
Incumbent Australian Test opener Joe Burns is suffering from a chronic fatigue disorder.
Burns recently cut short a County Championship stint at Lancashire after just one match. It’s to be hoped that the Queensland right-hander recovers in order to take his place at the top of the order come the Ashes because it just won’t be the same without Burns opening on both sides.
Meanwhile Burns one cap compatriot Chadd Sayers has signed for Gloucestershire after they lost another Ozzie, Dan Worrall to injury!
Steven Smith, David Warner & Cameron Bancroft. Please come back. All is forgiven. (Say Australian fans!)
For those of you that have been living in a cave for the past week, I feel obliged to inform you that batsmen Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have all returned home from Australia’s tour of South Africa.
The good news for Australia fans is that Joe Burns & Matt Renshaw have joined the squad whilst Play Station Portable Handscomb has been promoted from 12th man duties. Unfortunately for Australia’s fans, the trio’s combined contribution to their team’s response to the home side’s first innings total of 488 is… 12-3. Renshaw made an epic 8, Burns a fluent half as many and Pistol Pete kept it simple… quack quack. Shaun Marsh is at the crease having failed to reach fifty in the series. He’s made starts but hasn’t backed up his Ashes tons.
There’s still hope for Australia. They’ve got their new captain Tim Paine to come, he of one century in 100 First Class matches (172 innings!). No Seriously, I like Paine and hope that he goes well.
It was great to see Temba Bavuma in the runs for South Africa though he rather unfortunately got left stranded on 95. This was in part due to Morne Morkel’s anti-climatic follow-up to receiving a guard of honour… quack quack first ball! It does seem a bit weird that the home side have mucked Bavuma about. They brought Theunis de Bruyn into the side again but don’t seem to understand what de Bruyn’s role is and have promptly mucked him around again by dropping him again.
Keep tabs on the fourth Test in Johannesburg by clicking on the link below…
Whilst Cameron Bancroft does okay opening the batting for Australia’s Test outfit, his predecessor Matt Renshaw is sniffing for a recall at the earliest opportunity. Since the turn of the year the nearly twentytwo-year-old has reeled off First Class scores of 56, 32, 170, 0, 112, 12, 3, 143* & 8. If the opposition get him early then fair enough but if they don’t then the Middlesbrough lad cashes in. Remember that he’s got a Test high of 184 and averages just shy of 37.
Back to Bancroft. He produced one good knock during the 2017-18 Ashes and under huge pressure for his place, has made starts and got one fifty in South Africa. It’s a good little battle for the Australian selectors to have being played out. Western Australia’s Bancroft has three or four years on Renshaw and experience of opening at county level in England for Gloucestershire that will serve him well. Queensland’s Renshaw is clearly made of tough stuff though, even if he recently rather naively conceded five penalty runs!
Don’t forget Renshaw’s domestic partner Joe Burns either. He had a bit of a stinker in his last Test but he’s still only 28 and has three Test tons to his name. South Australia’s Jake Weatherald is another one to keep an eye on, though he’s failed to convert starts this term. Travis Dean is another who despite not backing up the absurdly good start to his First Class career, has recently notched up a couple of hundreds. His average is a disappointing 34 exactly but six tons seven fifties is a good conversion rate. Remember that opening the batting isn’t easy. I should know because I’ve done it in Division Seven of the Nidderdale League and Division Five of the Harrogate and District Evening League!!!
Like Renshaw, another player from the north of England worth keeping tabs on is Charlie Hemphrey. Despite a duck on First Class debut, the Doncaster native registered a century early in his Australian domestic career and following a difficult time thereafter, has made hundreds in each of his last two outings. Twentyeight-year-old Hemphrey has produced these performances batting at four for Queensland. Burns, Renshaw and Hemphrey helping contribute to a strong batting order.
Current Test incumbent David Warner is only thirty-one so there’s life in the old dog yet and unlike some, he seems committed to the Test cause and not yet seeking a purely T20 franchise existence.
Competition for the opening slots for Australia’s Test side is scorching hot and the selectors will be chuffed at the tough decisions to be made.
A few Ozzies join the club today. First, please let me apologise because in the excitement of Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine ducking yesterday, I neglected to mention that Australia’s opening batsman Joe Burns got burned fourth ball in Hobart to leave him with a series batting average of 0.5!
Joe (Not too) Mennie (Yes I know I’ve used that before!) who was selected ahead of Jackson Bird for his superior batting as much as his bowling (See previous post: The Bird and the Lyon)…
Ignore any silly blogs calling for a recall for Ashton Agar!
Following defeat against South Africa in the first Test of a three-match series in Perth, Australia have recalled Joe Burns for the injured Shaun Marsh and have also granted a long awaited Test call-up for the extremely unfortunate Callum Ferguson for the second Test in Hobart. South Australia captain Ferguson will be 32 on November 21st and would surely have earned more than thirty ODI caps and three T20I appearances for his country if it wasn’t for a series of knee injuries. If CJ Ferg (That’s probably what his mates call him!) does debut, at 31 he’ll have a head start on some that have made their Test bows in recent times. Look no further than Australia teammate Adam Voges, 35 when he first wore the baggy green. In the last month Ferguson has made scores of 154 in a List A match and 101 in a First Class appearance. The possibility of a five year plus, few thousand runs international career could still be a possibility for the North Adelaide born right-hander.