Pakistan get David Warner and Joe Burns for openers today.
Pakistan get David Warner and Joe Burns for openers today.

Over to you, David, Joe, Marnus, Steve ...

On the opening day of the home Test summer Australia was asked to play its strongest suit and ultimately ended the day holding what looks a winning hand.

On Friday it is the turn of the batsmen. Who, despite holding one particular ace up their sleeve, have had their bluff called far too regularly of late.

Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were relentless in their pace and accuracy at the Gabba on Thursday to usher in a decisive Pakistan collapse after lunch.

Mitchell Starc instantly re-found his red ball grove after his Ashes disappointment, finishing with figures of 4-52.

As Ricky Ponting observed, Pakistan simply had "nowhere to relax", despite a commendable opening partnership between Shan Masood and Azhar Ali and a late show of defiance from Asad Shafiq.

The batting line up, however, is less settled. And certainly less reliable.

In England earlier this year a collective failure at the top of the order was masked only by the otherworldly excellence of Steve Smith.

An opening partnership average of less than eight across the five match series spoke of serious trouble at the top.

Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris paid the price for their Ashes shortcomings. David Warner only spared from his due to too much credit in the bank, as well as the absence of credible challengers to his position.

He will open alongside Joe Burns, himself dropped ahead of the Ashes, despite posting 180 on his last Test outing before then, and four Test centuries in 16 appearances at an average of 40.

Langer spoke of his optimism in the partnership that will walk together to the crease at the start of day two. And called on the side collectively to start regularly posting 350 plus in a first innings - fuelled by a platform from a top three that is rounded out by Marnus Labuschagne - something they have only done twice in the last 12 months.

"I'm hopeful the odd couple will get out there and, like we've seen in the past, form a really good opening partnership," Langer said.

The pair like batting together, he reasoned, and so were likely to prosper together.

It is three years since they have done so. And in the last six innings they opened together one of them was dismissed with 3,2,0,3,2 and 0 runs on the board.

They are both talented players with impressive records. But as the team continues the search for its post-sandpaergate identity, they also have much to prove again.