Joe Burns trail all the way to Australian Test team
AUSTRALIA'S latest Test addition, Joe Burns, is a self-confessed cricket tragic - and that's why he believes he will handle the pressure of making his debut in front of a big crowd in the Boxing Day Test against India at the MCG.
Burns's consistent form at Sheffield Shield level for Queensland saw him get the nod to replace the injured Mitchell Marsh. He has shone this season with 439 runs at an average of 54.87, with one century and two 50s.
Tasmania's Ed Cowan (590 runs) and Western Australia's Adam Voges (509 runs) have outperformed the 25-year-old at first-class level, but Burns' former Bulls coach, Darren Lehmann - the current Australia coach - knows he has massive potential.
Lehmann said also being younger than those two veterans assisted Burns' cause.
Getting picked to don the baggy green for the first time was like Christmas coming early for the Brisbane product.
"I'm looking forward to it - it's a dream come true. Any Australian cricket fan dreams of playing these sorts of games," Burns said.
"In terms of the pressure, I think I'll just enjoy the experience and the moment.
"I do follow the game closely - I love the game of cricket. That makes Boxing Day even more special."
Burns said he felt sorry for fellow Test aspirant and Bulls teammate Usman Khawaja, who was also in line for a Test recall.
Khawaja is set to undergo a knee reconstruction after an awkward landing at training with Big Bash team the Sydney Thunder.
"There are plenty of players that dream to be in this situation, and you feel for them when other circumstances take that away," Burns said.
Burns said getting a Test call-up, despite having staunch supporter Lehmann as the Australia coach, was the last thing on his mind after all-rounder Marsh injured his right hamstring in the second Test in Brisbane.
He was the only change to the Australian squad for the Boxing Day Test, with Lehmann confident David Warner would overcome a thumb injury sustained in the second innings at the Gabba.
"The domestic season is so hectic that you're going from game to game and you're just focused on the games you're playing without really looking too far ahead," he said. "(But) it's so exciting to get in the team."
Burns lined up for the Brisbane Heat against the Thunder in Sydney last night in the Big Bash League before joining the Test squad in Melbourne.
Australia's squad for the third Test: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steve Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle.