Australian batsman Joe Burns celebrates his maiden Test century in Brisbane yesterday.
Joe Burns admits the plan was to hit six singles to reach his maiden Test century for Australia, instead he clouted two massive sixes to seize the limelight at the first Test at the Gabba yesterday.
Burns, playing in only his third Test match but his first as opener, took the adventurous route to his first hundred with two mighty swipes off spinner Mark Craig in three balls.
The Queenslander’s powerful hitting coupled with opening partner David Warner’s back-to-back century propelled Australia to an imposing 503-run lead over the forlorn Kiwis with two days left.
Burns smashed 129 off 123 balls with 14 fours and four sixes, while Warner raised his 14th Test century and second for the match with 116 from 113 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
Burns revealed that Warner had walked down the pitch when he was on 94 and advised him to take a conservative approach to bringing up his coveted century.
“I’m just very proud. It’s pure elation. I’m not really sure what I did or what I was thinking,” he said.
“The plan was to hit six singles but I just kind of blacked out a bit and swung as hard as I could and luckily got it over the rope.”
It was a special moment for Burns playing before friends and relatives at his Gabba home ground.
“I can’t think of a better place to do it than at the Gabba in front of friends and family,” he said.
Burns partnered Warner to opening stands of 161 and 237 in the Test, which is the first time an opening pair had compiled 150-plus stands in a Test match.
“It’s been fantastic, I’ve really enjoyed it. He (Warner) certainly keeps me in check and keeps me level,” Burns said.
Warner, who has taken on more team responsibility as vice-captain under skipper Steve Smith in the revamped Australian team, said he was excited by the performances of new selections Burns and Usman Khawaja, who scored his first Test century with 174 in the first innings.
“I walked down to him and said to be a bit selfish and try to get six singles,” Warner said.
“Two balls later he came down the wicket and hit it over his head for six, but he said to me - ‘I don’t know what I was thinking.’
“I said ‘you obviously did know because you hit it for six.’
“I’m so excited for him, Uzzy (Khawaja) as well. Two guys making their maiden Test centuries at their home venue.”
Warner also joined illustrious company to score a Test century in both innings on three separate occasions along with Australia’s Ricky Ponting and India’s Sunil Gavaskar.
“It’s always great to score hundreds in the first innings but definitely in the second innings when you’re on top of the game it sort of makes it a little bit easier and you have a bit more confidence,” he said.
“It’d be a different story if we were behind the game.”
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