Joe Burns is in a relaxed mood ahead of Thursday's first Test at the Gabba.
Joe Burns is in a relaxed mood ahead of Thursday's first Test at the Gabba. SAEED KHAN

Burns cool ahead of return to Test cricket

Just like Queensland teammate Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns will go into Thursday's first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba in a relaxed mood.

After making his debut for Australia against India last summer as a No.6 batsman, Burns was left out of the tours to West Indies and England.

That might have meant he would be nervous about his return as an opener on his home ground, but the 26-year-old said the fact the match was in Brisbane had helped settle any anxiety.

"If anything I probably feel less pressure," Burns, who will open alongside David Warner, said.

"It's a very familiar build-up.

"It's the simple things of sleeping in your own bed, using familiar facilities and knowing that you have a game plan that has had consistent success at the Gabba, especially at the top of the order.

"That's all something that gives me a lot of confidence going into the game."
Burns, who made his debut in last year's Boxing Day Test against India, said he was keen to take in as much information about how to play at the highest level from the likes of Warner and captain Steve Smith.

"I am all ears this week," he said. "I want to learn as much as possible to make sure I give myself the best chance of performing well in the Test match."

The Queenslander scored 58 and 66 against India in his last Test at Sydney in January, batting in the middle order.

Asked if he would feel pressure as an opener this week, Burns said: "I probably feel confident with that role.

"I see myself as an opening batter now, especially in long-form cricket, where in the past two years with Queensland I have had some good success.

"It's probably on the back of those performances I have been selected, so I guess you take the confidence in the fact selectors have confidence in you.

"I know that if I execute the things I do well, hopefully I will have success at Test level."

Burns said he was expecting a tough battle against a New Zealand bowling attack spearheaded by Trent Boult and Tim Southee and said he would have to work hard ahead of the first Test this week and the second in Perth, starting a week on Friday.

"They have some fantastic bowlers who pose a great threat," he said.

"It's something I am going to have to now prepare really well for."
 



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