CRICKET: Long off-seasons seem rare for international cricketers these days, which was why Australian opening batsman Joe Burns was grateful he had four months away from the middle before an impressive innings last week.
The Brisbane product, who scored three hundreds in Tests against New Zealand and West Indies last summer, scored 72 against the Sri Lanka XI in Colombo last week in an ideal tune-up for the first Test in Kandy starting tonight.
“I’ve had a hectic two years playing cricket so it was nice to have some time off and refresh mentally,” Burns told Australian Regional Media.
“I built up a physical pre-season, which made me right to go again.
“It’s nice knowing you can do everything you need to prepare for a Test tour.”
While Burns’ off-season allowed him to recharge the batteries and do some work on his house, the 26-year-old has prepared meticulously for the three-Test tour of Sri Lanka.
“I’ve felt really good the last few weeks. I went to Chennai before the tour so I’ve had plenty of batting under my belt and I’m ready to go for the Test series,” he said.
“It’s always nice to get some match experience and to transfer the things you’re doing in the nets to a competitive environment in a first-class game, and you take confidence into the three Test matches.”
Burns, who has an impressive average of 49.29 from 10 Tests, said playing in Sri Lanka would be a huge challenge despite the hosts having been comprehensively beaten 2-0 in a recent three-Test series in England.
“Those conditions (on the subcontinent) are very foreign to Australian conditions, so it’s just a matter of trying to adjust and play the games slightly differently,” he said.
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