Langer issues top order batting challenge

Australia coach Justin Langer confirmed Joe Burns will partner David Warner at the top of the order.
Australia coach Justin Langer confirmed Joe Burns will partner David Warner at the top of the order.

Justin Langer has challenged Australia's batting unit to "embrace the spotlight" and set the tone for a century-laden summer in Brisbane.

It took until the sixth Test for an Australian to notch triple-figures on home soil last season, while only Steve Smith and Matthew Wade managed the feat during the Ashes.

Omitted from the Ashes series, Joe Burns will return to the top of the order to partner David Warner against Pakistan on Thursday, while Mitchell Starc and Travis Head were also locked in for recalls by coach Langer on Tuesday.

Pakistan's exciting pace attack will test Australia at the Gabba and Langer has put it to his top six to respond after failing to pass 300 in the first innings of seven of their 11 Tests in the past 12 months.

"We're No.5 in the world in Test cricket at the moment and there's a reason for that," Langer said.

"One of them is that we don't score 300-plus in the first innings enough.

"We understand the spotlight on our batting at the moment and the boys have got to embrace that."

Burns has four centuries from 16 Tests - including a career-best 180 in his last game - and averages 47.25 in the first innings for Australia.

"He's got a very good first innings record and I know Davey likes batting with him," Langer said of Burns.

"What we need to do is to get our top three cemented.

"Batsmen are judged on if they score hundreds or not and they're all aspiring to that ... we're programmed to want to score hundreds and more we score the more times we'll win games of cricket."

Langer said Starc's recall to join Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in the pace attack came with confidence in his ability to hit a "first-class length" more often to complement his searing yorker and bouncer.

And he said Head was in fine company after being left out of the final Ashes Test in England.

"He came back (from England) and scored a (Sheffield Shield) hundred. He's no orphan, we've all been dropped," he said.

"Every Australian player, except I think Adam Gilchrist has been dropped ... even Sir Donald Bradman was dropped early.

"Every player gets dropped and then you see if they come back stronger. "

Langer said crafty paceman Michael Neser remained in the frame for a Test debut under lights in Adelaide and that Usman Khawaja shouldn't consider his Test career over.

Khawaja was overlooked in favour of Cameron Bancroft, who has averaged just 11.8 in the Sheffield Shield this season but will serve as Australia's concussion substitute in Brisbane.

Langer said he'd rather see Khawaja - long Australia's first-choice No.3 - finding form for Queensland than in camp as an extra with Australia.

"I have great admiration for Uzzy. He's a fantastic player and I'm sure when he finds a bit of touch, he'll be pushing very hard for a place in the team," Langer said.

Australian Associated Press