How many more chances does Joe Burns need to prove his case for Test selection?
The Queenslander could only manage a second-ball duck during Australia A’s match against India at the SCG on Friday evening.
Immediately after the dinner break, Burns tentatively prodded at a length delivery from Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah, catching the outside edge of his bat.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant completed the dismissal, and Burns made his way back to the pavilion for his second duck in as many innings.
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The 31-year-old was spotted training in the nets during the dinner break, but the extra session proved a needless venture.
Joe Burns of Australia A is caught behind off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah of India during day one.Source:Getty Images
Burns has faced relentless scrutiny this summer after repeatedly failing with the bat in first-class cricket.
His most recent scores in the first-class format are 12, 7, 29, 0, 10, 11, 4, 0 and 0. He has averaged 7.63 with the bat this summer.
The ugly streak of low scores has prompted calls for former Test openers Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja to be rushed into the squad.
Bloody awful seeing Joe Burns on this bad patch. Out for a duck. pic.twitter.com/dA2FgjUECq
Things still not going well for Burns. Nicks behind on the second ball of Bumrah’s over… #AUSAvIND
Burns another duck. How unfortunate. I am definitely not saying boo-urns. Hope he gets out of this form slump soon! This one would’ve rattled him. #AUSAvIND #AUSAvINDA pic.twitter.com/bybfQuTg2D
Are the Australians focusing on the right opening candidate in all this pre-series talk? Joe Burns hasn't crossed 11 in five Shield innings this season and for Australia A he's managed 4, 0 and 0. #INDvAUS #INDvsAUSA
However, national selectors may be forced to choose Burns for the Test against India following injuries to David Warner and Will Pucovski.
Australian stalwart Warner suffered a groin injury during the one-day series against India, and has been withdrawn from the series opener at Adelaide Oval.
Meanwhile, Victorian prodigy Will Pucovski was struck in the head during Australia A’s warm-up match at Drummoyne Oval on Tuesday, and has since suffered concussion symptoms.
If Pucovski was also unavailable for the first match in Adelaide, Burns would become the only recognised opening batsman remaining in Australia’s Test squad.
Earlier on Friday, West Australian prodigy Cameron Green left the SCG after he was struck in the head by a Jasprit Bumrah straight drive.
After bowling out India for 194, Australia A were 1/36 after 10.4 overs before rain interrupted play in Sydney.
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