Australia’s potential Test opening partnership has passed its first audition, with David Warner and Joe Burns smashing a century stand in the one-day victory with Ireland.
Captain Steve Smith praised the performance of the pair, who both posted half centuries and combined for 139 runs as Australia amassed 6-222 from 40.2 overs on Thursday in the rain-affected match.
On debut, Burns started explosively and looked every bit the part as he smashed 69 off 70 balls – a knock which included a monster six and later three consecutive fours off Craig Young.
With a powerful thump to the mid-wicket boundary, Burns passed 50 and brought up the 100-run partnership, in the 15th over – with Warner following suit for his milestone in the same over.
“I really enjoy (batting with Warner),” Burns said.
“We seem to bounce off each other quite well. It’s the first time we’ve batted together.
“His batting plans, his ideas I feel that suit my style of batting really well.
“Hopefully there’ll be some more solid partnerships to come.”
It bodes well for Burns’ prospects of winning the opening spot next to Warner, vacated by the retired Chris Rogers, on October’s two-Test tour of Bangladesh.
The 25-year-old made his Test debut against India during the last Australian summer, and acquitted himself well – making two half centuries while averaging 36.50 across the two Tests he played before being overlooked for the West Indies and Ashes tours which followed.
“Obviously Joe’s had a taste of Test cricket and he played quite well in those Test matches that he played,” Smith said.
“I thought he played really nicely (on Thursday), he complemented Warner … they both played really well.
“(Chief selector) Rod (Marsh) said before that if you’re scoring runs in one-day cricket you can certainly put your name up for Test cricket and hopefully he can take the opportunity of opening in this series with both hands.”
Burns was given a reprieve on 61 when caught behind, only to find out after a short pause that pace bowler Craig Young had overstepped the mark and a no ball was called.
He failed to make Ireland pay, however, adding just eight more before Young made up for his error.
The right-arm quick dropped one short and lured Burns into a miscued pull shot which was skied and caught easily by wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien.
Warner continued to fire in his absence, and a century beckoned before he too fell victim to a mistimed pull – finding Ed Joyce in the outfield off the bowling of Tim Murtagh (2-45) for 84.