Joe Burns' batting struggles came to a head on Tuesday during an extraordinary moment in Australia's net session before the first Test against India.
The Aussie Test hopeful has been woefully out of form heading into the four-match series against India, which gets underway at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
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It took just one ball in what is surely one of the most important net sessions of his career, for Burns to feel the ire of coach Justin Langer.
In a video posted by Indian cricket journalist Bharat Sundaresan, Langer can be seen storming down the pitch to have an animated discussion with Burns.
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 15, 2020
It's unclear what was said between coach and player but it didn't look promising as far as Burns is concerned.
“It was an innocuous length delivery from a net bowler bowling left-arm pace, which Burns flicked around the corner," Sundaresan wrote for CricBuzz.com
"But in that brief moment, Langer seemed to have spotted an issue that he felt needed immediate attention.
“To the extent that he literally stormed into the net to grab a hold of the out-of-form batsman. What followed was an animated chat of about a minute with Langer seemingly laying down the law.
“It wasn’t obvious from afar what it was that the coach was asking of the right-hander. But it seemed very clear that whatever it was Langer needed Burns to do was non-negotiable.”
The exchange comes with Burns under serious pressure to keep his spot at the top of Australia's batting order, after a worrying form slump that's seen him average just 6.89 runs since October.
The Queenslander failed in his most recent opportunities to impress during Australia A's tour match against the Indians.
Burns' four innings in the warm-up matches yielded the unflattering scores of 4, 0, 0 and 1 - leading to many critics calling for him to be dropped.
Australia keep Test XI a secret
Aussie captain Tim Paine told reporters on Wednesday that they had settled on the XI to play India in the first Test, but refused to confirm whether Burns would open the batting.
Paine said 21-year-old allrounder Cameron Green is fit to make his Test debut in the day-night fixture at Adelaide Oval, but said the make-up of Australia's batting line-up would remain a secret.
"We will be keeping that in-house at the moment," Paine told reporters on Wednesday.
Star batsman Steve Smith will play despite suffering back soreness on Tuesday and not batting at training.
"Steve has had a stiff back a number of times of before - and you do when you bat at training as much as he does," Paine said.
"But his preparation has been very good. He has batted for the last week since we have been in Adelaide.
"For him to have a day off might actually be a blessing in disguise."
Allrounder Green had recovered from concussion and was set to make his Test debut.
"He is pretty good to go," Paine said.
"He obviously trained with us yesterday, reports are he has pulled up really well this morning.
"All things going well, Cam Green will make his Test debut tomorrow which is great news for him, great news for us and great news for Australian cricket fans."
But who opens the batting remains clouded with Burns in a form slump and Marcus Harris summoned as a replacement.
Paine said promoting Matthew Wade to open was a possibility.
"He is certainly an option ... no doubt about that," Paine said.
"We have got a number of guys who are willing to open the batting... he is willing to put his body on the line for the team.
"Obviously we have got a scenario where we could have different openers and we have had a number of guys put their hand up to do it if it's the best thing for the team."
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