Joe Burns knows all about what it means to be out-of-form and in danger of being dropped, but don’t expect him to show any sympathy when it comes to India.
The tourists are expected to swing the axe for the second Test at the MCG, with struggling India opener Prithvi Shaw one of two batsmen on the chopping block.
Shaw made 0 and 4 runs in his two digs during the first Test at Adelaide Oval, with Shubman Gill and KL Rahul both touted as possible replacements.
Burns himself faced intense scrutiny and calls to be axed after a woeful run of form in the lead-up to the first Test, before an unbeaten half century in Australia’s second innings gave him a much-needed confidence booster.
However, he was reluctant to dish out any advice for Indian rival Shaw before the Boxing Day Test, preferring instead to take a cheeky swipe at the out-of-sorts opener.
“I wouldn’t give him any advice as I am playing against him. I’m hoping that he makes no runs at all,” Burns joked.
“I actually don’t know what form he has been in. I haven’t been following him.
“He is obviously a quality player if he is playing for India. I might give advice at the end of the series, but not after the first game.”
Burns revealed that coach Justin Langer’s words of wisdom helped him find the rhythm needed to beat his batting blues.
The right-handed batsman was under immense pressure at the start of Australia’s four-Test series against India, having scored 62 runs from nine first-class knocks this season.
But Langer and selectors never wavered in their belief the incumbent batsman would find form, even after Allan Border and other greats lined up to declare Burns must be axed.
Burns scrapped for 17 overs at the start of Australia’s first innings of the day-night Test, scoring eight.
The Queenslander’s second knock in Adelaide was only 16 minutes longer than his first dig but notably more productive, containing seven fours and a six that completed his half-century and an eight-wicket win.