Opening partnership saved Burns - Smith


Joe Burns' blossoming opening partnership with David Warner saved him from being dropped, according to Australia captain Steve Smith.

Australia have opted to drop Shaun Marsh as Usman Khawaja returns from a hamstring injury for the second Test against West Indies.

Marsh was dropped despite making 182 in Hobart, while Burns' form has been average since his ton against New Zealand in the first Test.

But Burns and Warner average 88.86 as an opening combination and Smith said that played a part in the decision.

"That was a big part of it. Joe's been playing quite good cricket, he scored a hundred only a couple of Tests ago," he told a news conference in Melbourne on Friday.

"I think they average 80 as a pair and it's important to have a good opening stand so the selectors thought that was the right way to go."

Smith confirmed he would return to number four in the batting order, with Khawaja to resume at three.

The skipper said 32-year-old Marsh was extremely unlucky.

"Shaun is obviously really unlucky to miss out after a brilliant 180 in the last Test match and 49 under a bit of pressure in the Test before," Smith said.