Ponting backs Burns to help cure Australia’s top order woes
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has endorsed the return of Joe Burns to Australia's Test side and believes the right-hander can help David Warner get his groove back this summer.
Ponting was not surprised Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja were overlooked as options at opener due to the fact Australia need a right-handed batsman to complement their greatest attacking threat in Warner.
"The left-hand, right-hand combination at the top is a good thing," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"We saw in England that right-armers going around the wicket created a lot of issues to our lefties at the top.
"With Burns being there now … if they want to go around the wicket to Warner, they'll have to go over the wicket to Burns. So it just makes the bowler's job a little bit more difficult.
"We saw the dominance Broad had against the lefties and if they had a right-hander there (in England), it might have been a bit easier for him and the other left-hander as well."
Burns has scored four centuries from 16 Tests and was unlucky to miss out on the Ashes tour after scoring a hundred last summer against Sri Lanka.
Ponting believes Burns is a proven performer at Test level and deserves his spot, however he was disappointed in the performances of the Australia A batting group in their tour match against Pakistan.
Burns was one of the least successful with scores of 0 and 11.
"The underlying thing through it all was just how disappointing the batsmen were in the tour game," Ponting said.
"It was talked about for a couple of weeks as a bat-off and a showdown, and it didn't turn out that way because none of the batters made any, apart from (Cameron) Bancroft.
"But I think (Burns) is a good selection.
"Looking back to the Ashes squad, he was probably the most-unlucky omission from that.
"Things didn't work out for him in the tour game, but he'll obviously get a lot of confidence out of being back.
"He's got a proven track record, averages about 40 in Test cricket and hopefully that will continue."
Ponting backed Burns' opening partner and former teammate Warner to return to his best at Test level after a disappointing Ashes series.
"I know what sort of a bloke he is," Ponting said of Warner.
"He's very competitive, he wants to win, and he wants to have success. And he's very meticulous in his preparation, he knows how teams are going to bowl to him and what he has to work on.
"The hunger and desire will certainly be there. If he gets off to a good start in the first Test, it could be a big summer for him."
Live stream the Australia v Pakistan Test Series with KAYO SPORTS on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14-day free trial >