• Burns quietens Renshaw ‘bat-off’ talk

    Australian batsman Joe Burns has insisted that competition with fellow opener Matt Renshaw is minimal, if at all.

    Renshaw and Burns have been named in the Test squad for this month’s series against Sri Lanka.

    Duo Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris opened the batting in the fourth and final Test against India in Sydney earlier this month, after the out-of-form Aaron Finch was dropped.

    Khawaja will likely be returned to the middle order, leaving Renshaw and Burns in contention to open alongside Harris.

    ‘The fact we work together doing the same role, building a partnership as an opener pair, you are just happy to see teammates going well,’ said Burns.

    ‘Hopefully we can both get the opportunity, I’ve never seen myself as competing with Matt. It’s just how we can get the job done for Queensland.

    ‘Everyone who gets selected for Australia is a really, really good player. You don’t even get a job in professional cricket at state level without being an excellent player. All the guys who get opportunities are very talented, sometimes it can be a simple judgement call from selectors.

    ‘It’s just the way the game is with the three formats, players coming in and out of competitions all around the world, it’s very hard to throw a blanket over a group of players and compare them all evenly.’

    Both have been named in the Cricket Australia XI for 17-19 January’s warm-up fixture against the Sri Lankans in Hobart.

    ‘We don’t see ourselves as here to service Sri Lanka in any way, it’s about hopefully setting the tone for the Test series,’ added Burns.

    ‘I’m not sure about a bat-off, it’s just a chance to spend time in the middle with a big Test series coming up and get exposed to the Sri Lanka bowlers. The selectors want to see players in certain positions and we have an eye on the Test series as well.’

    Photo: Getty

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