Bittersweet Test return for Joe Burns

Murray Wenzel
Joe Burns was kicking himself after making 97 in his Australian Test recall against Pakistan

Joe Burns knows better than most how "bitter" cricket can be but he was reminded again in one regretful moment on a Friday he otherwise dominated at the Gabba.

The Test opener missed out on his fifth century, bowled around his legs attempting to sweep Yasir Shah for 97 to end a 222-run stand with good mate David Warner.

Burns, struck on the arm before lunch by express teenage paceman Naseem Shah, denied tightening up in the 90s but admitted he'd missed a chance to go large on his home ground.

"It's a very bitter feeling (but) I was really satisfied with how I batted.

"I felt I did a lot of things right and I know if I can bat like that more often than not, hopefully it can equate to plenty more runs," he said.

It would've been back-to-back Test hundreds for the Queenslander after his 180 against Sri Lanka in February.

Burns was kicking himself after play but given what's happened between those two knocks - and everything else before them both - he is just grateful to be back.

The 30-year-old battled a fatigue illness after that February Test, before returning to the selection frame then being left out of the final Ashes squad in favour of Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft.

It was one of four occasions he was dropped from the Test squad across an eight-Test period that still yielded two hundreds and Friday's near miss.

He has passed 50 once every three innings on average in Tests and, along with the axed Usman Khawaja, sits next to Warner and Steve Smith as the only Australians in the past five years to score more than 1000 Test runs at an average above 40.

His solid record - Burns now averages 42.07 in his 17th Test - hasn't helped keep him in the side for sustained periods.

But his ability to ignore any frustrations stemming from that have helped him keep coming back.

"I don't think you have much choice to be honest," he said.

"Selections come and go in this game.

"There's so many games that you play these days that you've just got to make sure that you're making runs.

"I knew that my job was to make sure that if called upon in the home summer I was ready to go. I just made that my motivation and tried to get stuck into it."