Australia vs Pakistan: Justin Langer hints at playing XI for first Test

The coach is optimistic that the Warner-Burns duo will give some stability to Australia’s top order.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Pakistan will be playing in their first Test match when they take on Australia in the first of the two-match series at the Gabba, Brisbane, from November 21. The Asian side lost a three-game T20I series 0-2 to the Kangaroos and under a new captain in Azhar Ali, they will look to make an impact in the longer format.

Australia, on the other hand, have returned undefeated from England in their recent most Test series and will be looking to clean up the unhappy memory they have from the last home season when they lost 1-2 to India. Head coach Justin Langer has already given a hint about the players that the hosts will settle for by confirming that Cameron Bancroft and Michael Neser will not feature in the playing XI.


“We haven’t named the XI yet but I’d say those two will be 12th and 13th man,” Langer was quoted as telling reporters, hinting at the two players.

The omission of Bancroft means Joe Burns will open the innings with David Warner while Travis Head will make the middle-order featuring the likes of Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Matthew Wade stronger. Burns though made zero and 11 for Australia ‘A’ in the three-day match against the Pakistanis in Perth last week. He though has done well in domestic matches of late.

Justin Langer backs Burns despite his poor showing in practice game against Pakistan

But Langer is hopeful that Burns will be back with a bang in the Tests. “He’s got a very good first innings record,” Langer said of Burns, who averaged 47.25 in the first innings, adding that Warner loves to bat in the company of Burns as well.

“I obviously have some understanding of how important it is for the openers to get along really well, and work really well with each other and understand each other.” Burns did not play in the Ashes where Warner too had a poor run.

The coach is optimistic that the Warner-Burns duo will give some stability to Australia’s top order. Australia are currently ranked fifth in the ICC Test rankings while Pakistan are ranked seventh.