Falling at 40 leaves Burns vulnerable

Rob Forsaith
Joe Burns' 40 in the third Test may not be enough for him to make June's trip to Bangladesh

Joe Burns has left the door open for a rival to snatch his spot at the top of the order after ending the home Test summer with a knock of 40.

Burns, dropped for last year's Ashes despite a career-best 180 in the preceding Test, was recalled at the start of 2019-20 and delivered a 97 in November's first Test against Pakistan .

The Queenslander has since scored 159 runs at 22.71 from seven innings, with Monday's lbw dismissal to Todd Astle extending a trend of promising starts that he failed to build on.

Australia's next Test after the SCG series finale against New Zealand will not come until June, when they travel to Bangladesh for a two-Test series.

Deciding which tweakers to pick alongside Nathan Lyon will probably dominate the selection discussions ahead of the trip to the subcontinent, with legspinner Mitchell Swepson in the box seat to debut after being overlooked in Sydney.

But settling on who should partner David Warner, who has bounced back from a horrible Ashes campaign in style, will also give Trevor Hohns' panel plenty to think about after Burns failed to cement his spot in the XI.

The second half of the Sheffield Shield season, when former Test batsmen Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Matthew Renshaw will have a chance to press their claims for a call-up, will shape whether the Warner-Burns pairing is broken up.

It is worth noting Burns shared a 107-run partnership with David Warner on day four of the third Test, marking the sixth occasion the pair have put on an opening stand worth 100 runs or more.

Having repeatedly rejigged things at the top of the order since Chris Rogers' retirement, the selectors would prefer to lock in a long-term pairing.

Coach Justin Langer was effusive in his praise of Burns prior to the SCG Test.

"I really like what he brings to the team," Langer said.

"I just really like what he and David Warner bring to the group ... he's playing well.

"It's like with every player, if you're not scoring runs you leave the door open but certainly what he's bringing to the team at the moment is really valuable."

Burns, speaking to cricket.com.au during the SCG Test, was frustrated to have "left a lot of runs out there this summer" but felt he had batted well throughout 2019-20.

"If I keep batting like that, more often than not it equates to big runs," Burns said.