STAR Queensland batsman Joe Burns admits he is disappointed to be leaving for England to play County cricket, instead of travelling to the West Indies and England with the Australian team.
And he has every right to be, but ever the optimist, the 25-year-old is looking forward to some new experiences of playing first-class cricket in England and with the Australia A team in India.
After a nervous showing in his debut Test against the Indians in the Boxing Day Test when he scored just 13 and nine, Burns bounced back with 58 and 66 - from just 39 balls - against the Indians in Sydney.
But the Australian selectors could not resist the Sheffield Shield form of Western Australia's Adam Voges who, at 35, scored 1358 runs over the Sheffield Shield summer and edged out Burns.
"Naturally you feel disappointed when you get left out of any team," Burns told APN.
"But I understand this is the top team in the world and it's not an easy side to break into."
But Burns, who won Queensland's coveted Ian Healy Trophy last month (the state's equivalent to the Allan Border Medal), and who was also the Bulls' Shield Player of the Year, with 793 runs at 52.86 last summer, is looking forward to upcoming tours of England and India.
He leaves for England tomorrow where he will play at the hallowed Lord's venue for Middlesex, in a hectic two-month schedule of seven first-class and 11 Twenty20 games.
Burns will then play for Australia A in a tour of India in July.
"It'll be a great experience playing in England and for Middlesex with internationals like Steve Finn, Nick Compton, Sam Robson and Eoin Morgan," he said.
"I've opened the batting at the Gabba against a swinging ball in humid conditions, so I'd like to think my game is tailored for a swinging ball in England.
"I've only played a handful of T20 games in India, but I'm really confident in my game against slow and spin bowling."
Burns said he would be up to the task of playing so many games during the Australian winter when he could be resting up.
"That's my job - when I get offered more work I'm not going to turn it down," he said.
"I've been focusing on my fitness and not so much my skills, just making sure I'll have my body right for the next 12 months."
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