Australia opener Joe Burns' Test career is hanging by a thread after another failure at the top of the order at the MCG.
Burns was out for just four against India in the hosts' second innings - after a 10-ball duck in the first dig - when he was caught behind off Umesh Yadav.
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To compound his problems, Burns wasted one of Australia's reviews in the process, with a hotspot on the bat confirming the umpire's on-field decision.
Minutes earlier, Burns was lucky to survive when he was hit on the toe by a Jasprit Bumrah yorker.
— News Cricket (@NewsCorpCricket) December 28, 2020
The on-field decision was not out and while the ball was seen to be clipping leg stump on review it was not enough to overturn the call.
Burns made an unbeaten 51 in Australia's successful run chase in the first Test in Adelaide but has managed just 17 runs in his other seven innings against the tourists for Australia and Australia A this summer.
The dismal record includes three ducks and comes after Burns averaged 11.4 with the bat in three Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland this season.
David Warner is likely to overcome a groin injury in time to return for the third Test, with Burns now appearing most likely to make way for the explosive left-hander.
Makeshift opener Matthew Wade, middle-order batsman Travis Head and inexperienced batting allrounder Cameron Green are also yet to completely lock down their positions.
Joe Burns criticised after controversial review call
Already under immense pressure to retain his spot in the Test team, Burns’ decision to review his dismissal prompted fierce criticism from both commentators and fans alike.
Veteran cricket journalist Peter Lalor described Burns’ failed review as a ‘sad exit’ on SEN radio.
“That’s a pretty sad exit for Joe Burns,” he said.
“Surely that’s the last straw for selectors who have stood by him.”
Fellow commentator and former Test opener Chris Rogers agreed, saying it was clear Burns had never looked at ease at the crease.
“I guess ‘scrambled’ is probably the best way to describe maybe Joe Burns’ method and mind set there,” Rogers said.
“He just looked all at sea didn’t he. He didn’t really look comfortable at any stage.”
There was plenty of similar criticism for Burns online.
That will be it for Joe Burns you would imagine if Warner is fit next Test. Looked all at sea there- such an unforgiving game and can be cruel at times but the world class Bumrah was all over him
— brad davidson (@braddavo) December 28, 2020
Surely we don't see Joe Burns again. Has Wade has done enough to prove himself as a Test opener yet? Unlikely. If Warner is fit next match but Pucovski isn't.. can Aus call in Khawaja? He's a good record against India. 🙊🇦🇺🇮🇳 #AUSvIND
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) December 28, 2020
Joe Burns nearly out 3 ways (edge,bowled & lbw) worst of all takes a review with him!
Warner has found his slot if fit. #AUSvIND
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) December 28, 2020
Burns wasn’t alone in his struggle with the bat, with the rest of the Australian line-up also being troubled by the Indian bowling attack.
Burns was picked to partner makeshift opener Matthew Wade at the start of the Test series when David Warner (groin) and uncapped Will Pucovski (concussion) were ruled out through injury.
But he faces an extremely difficult task to hold his spot for the third Test, with first-choice opener Warner likely to be cleared to return.
Victoria's Marcus Harris is also in the selection mix and India great Sunil Gavaskar said Burns' unsuccessful review would count against him.
"It's not just the fact that he's got out, he's wasted a review," Gavaskar told ABC Sport.
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