Head coach Justin Langer has put the spotlight firmly on Australia’s batsmen as they prepare to take on Pakistan in a two-Test series beginning on Thursday.
It will be Australia’s first Test assignment since their Ashes exertions in England, where they managed to retain the historic urn for the first time since 2001.
However, while Steve Smith was absolutely sensational in that series with an average of 110, the rest of the Australia batsmen left plenty to be desired. Langer wants that dependence on Smith to change when the hosts battle against Pakistan.
“We’re number five in the world in Test cricket at the moment, and there’s reasons for that,” Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“One of them is that we don’t score 300-plus in the first innings enough. Our batters are very aware of that.
“They understand that’s part of the responsibility and privilege of being selected in the top six in the Australian Test team.
“We’re not going to shy away from that. It’s no secret. We know we’ve got to keep improving and I’m confident we will.”
The Australia coach more or less confirmed that playing XI for the first Test in Brisbane with Joe Burns likely to partner David Warner at the top of the batting order. Warner is being backed to rediscover his best form after a miserable time in the Ashes and Langer feels Burns could be the perfect foil to the southpaw in the Test series.
“He (Burns) has got a very good first innings record, and I know Davey likes batting with him … not that he doesn’t like batting with other people,” Langer said.
“And I obviously have some understanding of how important it is for the openers to get on really well, and work well together and understand each other.
“One of the things we need to do is get our top three cemented and get that as strong as possible because it’s a pivotal part of winning games of cricket.
“So I’m hopeful the odd couple will get out there and, like we’ve seen in the past, form a really good opening partnership.”
Australia have won each of their previous home Test series against Pakistan by a 4-0 margin with their last defeat against the visitors coming all the way back in 1995.
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