Burns grateful to Warner for first-ball switch


Joe Burns offered thanks to opening partner David Warner after making his highest Test score in Christchurch on Sunday.

On the back of a four-ball duck against New Zealand in Wellington last week, Burns struck 170 on day two of the second Test at Hagley Oval and shared 289 with skipper Steve Smith (138) to put Australia in command at 363-4 in reply to the Black Caps' 370 all out.

Burns duly revealed that he had asked Warner to face the first ball of Australia's innings on Saturday, in a bid to prompt a change in personal fortunes.

In an interview with Optus Sport's Across the Ditch, Burns said: "I said to him [Warner] the night before, 'I haven't scored a run on tour yet' and that I'd really appreciate it if he took the first ball here just to let me at least be a part of a one-run partnership.

"So he took the first ball, but he's already told me he's not going to be doing it again anytime soon."

Speaking at a news conference, Burns highlighted the value of having a short break from international cricket prior to the two-Test series with New Zealand.

"If anything, the time off after the Sydney Test [against West Indies], to go back and play for the Brisbane Heat [in the Big Bash League] and then to spend some time at home, I think it was ideal preparation, just to be able to mentally relax," he added.

"It's been a real hectic 12 months for me personally, with all the cricket, and it was just nice to take a back seat for a few weeks and chill out, and look forward and focus my training for what was coming up.

"I played a bit of club cricket leading into a Shield game [for Queensland against South Australia in Adelaide at the beginning of February]. The wicket was quite grassy and nipped around a bit. It wasn't a traditional Adelaide wicket, so it was good preparation for what we were going to come up against here.

"Getting to Wellington, it was really good preparation. It was disappointing to face four balls in a Test match, but nice to get a few here."