abc– Joe Burns and Marcus Harris have failed to impress with the bat in their final hit-out before the first Test against India, both being dismissed cheaply in Australia A’s second innings against the tourists at the SCG.
But in positive news for Australia four days out from the Adelaide day-night Test, the home side will welcome back fast bowler Mitchell Starc who was granted compassionate leave last week.
Burns, who opened the batting in every Test for Australia last domestic season, was out for 1 on the final day of the pink-ball tour match in Sydney.
He was dismissed for a duck in the first innings on Friday.
Fellow opener Harris, who was called up to Australia’s Test squad on Saturday after Will Pucovski withdrew because of concussion, could only manage 5.
Both batters were dismissed by India quick Mohammed Shami.
Burns faced 21 balls and spent 39 minutes in the middle on Sunday before being trapped LBW by Shami.
The twin failures at the SCG add to an unconvincing start to the domestic season for Burns, who has tallied just 62 runs from nine first-class innings this season.
The Queenslander made 4 and a duck in Australia A’s first match against India last week at Drummoyne Oval.
Burns seemed a certain selection to open the batting for Australia in Adelaide, with David Warner (adductor injury) and Pucovski both ruled out.
But Australia Test great Allan Border said national selectors might be doing a disservice to Burns if they retained the out-of-form batsman in the Test XI.
“He just doesn’t look like scoring a run,” said Border, who was commentating on Fox Sports.
“If he just showed something, even if he made 20-odd today, batted OK and got out to a good ball, then you’d think we might stick with the incumbent.
Border backed Harris and Matthew Wade to open in the pink-ball Test, however that plan would be dependent on Cameron Green being passed fit for the match.
Cricket Australia (CA) is monitoring the condition of the young all-arounder, who was subbed out of Australia A’s match against India at the SCG on Friday evening after suffering a concussion while bowling.
CA’s medical staff said Green had shown “clinical improvement” on Saturday and was “symptomatically better” than he was the previous day.
Starc set to play Adelaide Test
Starc took leave from Australia’s T20 squad after the first match of the series against Indian because of a family illness.
The left-arm fast bowler has since advised the team management he is ready to return to the squad and he will fly from Sydney to Adelaide on Monday to join up with the rest of the Test team.
Fellow quick Josh Hazlewood said Starc’s return was very welcome.
“It’s obviously great news for us,” he said.
“He’s a huge part of our team and a huge part of our attack.
Starc has had great success with the pink ball since it was introduced for day-night Test and first-class matches.