Joe Burns to Captain Australia against Sri Lanka in Tasmania

No excuses. That is the summation of remarks made by Joe Burns in response to suggestions that playing BBL cricket and the lack of long format cricket is no reason for batters to fall short at Test level.

Burns will serve as captain in an upcoming Tour match against Sri Lanka.

“It is always a tricky talking point because we got the opportunity to play six Shield games back-to-back, which as a player you really appreciate the opportunity to play back-to-back long form cricket,” Burns said.

Burns is aiming at a spot of the Test XI, in the midst of a hiatus from Sheffield Shield for the BBL tournament.

“I know a lot has been made of the fact that guys haven’t been playing a lot of long form cricket, but you don’t lose your skills overnight,” Burns said.

We cannot speak from direct personal experience, but several days of playing miniature golf did nothing to prepare us for walking an 18-hole layout, which has up pondering the prospect of using buggies to ferry us around once we get past the windmill obstacle.

The Tour match against Sri Lanka will be played in Tasmania and more than a few hope to use the three-day match as an audition to earn Test selection.

Burns said that the formation of the squad being sent to Tasmania is such that batters who score runs stand a better chance of earning selection. He does speak from the advantageous perspective of opening with his Queensland partner Matt Renshaw.

Those two were sanctified in South Africa and escaped the scandal unscathed, but despite Burns’ claim to the contrary, the match with Sri Lanka could well be one where both he and Renshaw are vying for one spot on the Australian XI.

Burns was spot on when he described the packed schedule of modern cricket players and the switch from limited overs to long form cricket would certainly seem to challenge some more than others.