Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has voiced his concern for prodigy Will Pucovski ahead of the Test series against India.
As debate rages about who should partner with opening batsman David Warner in the four-match series, several pundits had tipped Pucovski to make his Test debut at Adelaide Oval in December.
The Victorian plundered consecutive double-centuries in the Sheffield Shield, while incumbent Test opener Joe Burns compiled 57 runs in five innings for Queensland.
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However, Burns looks destined to retain his spot in the Test side after Warner threw his support behind the under-fire batsman on Monday.
“I don’t think Joe did anything wrong last summer. We averaged over 60 and that’s what you want from your opening partnership, ” Warner said.
“For me, you don’t actually break something that is working.
“I’ve had over a dozen opening partners, and it’s never been quite stable. When I was batting with (Chris) Rogers … we bonded really well. It’s about building that bond and relationship.
“With me and Joe we have done that over the past few years. I know exactly what we are about when we are out there. We won a lot of games last year.”
Australia’s David Warner batting with Joe Burns.Source:News Corp Australia
Although Warner’s remarks were by no means slanderous, Clarke was worried about how Pucovski would interpret the comments.
“How does Will Pucovski feel sitting on the sideline reading this in the paper?” Clarke asked on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“If he does get nod, he’s walking out to bat with David Warner and he’s reading a headline — if you read the article it’s very different to the headline. David Warner doesn’t sit there and say, ‘I want Joe Burns, I don’t want Will’ – but if you read the headline that’s how it comes across.
“So unless Will Pucovski is reading every word, he’s going to think, ‘David doesn’t want to open the batting with me, he wants to open with Joe Burns’. So it’s a horrible position for everyone to be in.”
Last week, national selector Trevor Hohns revealed Warner would be consulted about who he’d prefer to partner with this summer, a decision which didn’t sit well with Clarke.
“David shouldn’t be in this position at all,” Clarke said.
“His comments are fine. He respects Joe Burns, he enjoys batting with Joe Burns, he’s good friends with Joe Burns, but he’s not a selector.”
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