Burns flops again to give Australia selection issues as Test looms

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Australian batting coach Graeme Hick speaks with Joe Burns during a net session at The Gabba in Brisbane on 19 November 2019.
Australian batting coach Graeme Hick speaks with Joe Burns during a net session at The Gabba in Brisbane on 19 November 2019.
(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Australia, already without David Warner, face major selection problems heading into the first Test against India after incumbent opener Joe Burns flopped again Sunday in the final warm-up game and Marcus Harris fared little better.

Burns managed just one at the Sydney Cricket Ground before being trapped lbw by India's dangerous Mohammed Shami, leaving him with only 62 runs from nine first class knocks this summer.

He has scored only 4, 0, 0 and 1 in his four innings for Australia A against India A, and selectors have plenty to ponder ahead of the day-night Test which begins in Adelaide on Thursday.

"It's a sad sight seeing a bloke really struggling to just find any sort of form," former captain Allan Border said on Fox Sports, adding that Burns, who has scored four centuries in his 21 Tests, should not be picked.

World-class opener Warner will miss the Test with a groin tear and his likely replacement, rookie Will Pucovski, was ruled out by concussion after being struck on the helmet by a bouncer in a warm-up match last week.

Harris, who hasn't played a Test since being dropped after the Ashes in England last year, was drafted in as Pucovski's replacement.

But he scored only five on Sunday, also falling to Shami, to go with his first innings 26, although he has been in excellent touch in the Sheffield Shield this season.

If Burns is axed, Marnus Labuschagne could be elevated to opener from his usual number three, or Matthew Wade bumped up the order.

That could potentially open the door for red-hot young all-rounder Cameron Green, although questions remain over his fitness after he too suffered a concussion last week when hit in the head by a powerful straight drive while bowling.

India A made 194 in their first innings of the pink-ball warm-up match in Sydney, before Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini skittled Australia A for 108.

The Indians fared much better in their second innings, gaining valuable day-night batting practice before declaring on 386 for four.

Shubman Gill hit 65 to state his case to open in Adelaide with Mayank Agarwal, who compiled 61, before Hanuma Vihari (104 not out) and Rishabh Pant (103 not out) tore into the second-string Australian attack.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
India 211/7
New Zealand 0
loading... Live
West Indies 149/10
South Africa 298/10
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14969 votes
12% - 4614 votes
19% - 6997 votes
3% - 981 votes
1% - 369 votes
2% - 893 votes
5% - 1894 votes
9% - 3231 votes
4% - 1341 votes
Water sports
1% - 342 votes
American sports
1% - 465 votes
3% - 1254 votes