Mohammed Shami is already picking apart the plans of Joe Burns, Marcus Harris and Australia’s selectors, having removed both openers in quick and alarming fashion at the SCG.
Burns’ nightmare run continued on day three of the pink-ball tour game in Sydney, where he was out for one in his final knock before the first Test starts on Thursday.
Burns faced 21 balls and spent 39 minutes in the middle on Sunday before being trapped lbw by Shami.
Harris was out for five a day after being added to the Test squad, having inexplicably clipped the 16th delivery he faced straight to Prithvi Shaw at leg slip.
Burns has tallied 62 runs from nine first-class knocks this season, with the Queenslander’s confidence at an all-time low as he prepares to travel to Adelaide.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, who was in the stands watching Burns and Harris fall to Shami while opening for Australia A, was quickly on the phone after the paceman’s destructive opening spell.
Hohns and coach Justin Langer have so far only added Harris to an enlarged Test squad despite David Warner (groin) and Will Pucovski (concussion) both being ruled out of the pink-ball clash that starts in Adelaide on Thursday.
Cameron Green remains in doubt for the first Test after suffering a concussion on Friday.
Allan Border, a former selector and captain, suggested Hohns’ panel would be doing a disservice to Burns if they retained the out-of-form batsman in the Test XI.
“He just doesn’t look like scoring a run,” Border said while commentating on Fox Sports.
“If he just showed something.
“Even if he made 20-odd today, batted OK and got out to a good ball. Then you’d think we might stick with the incumbent.
“It’s a sad sight, seeing a bloke really struggling to find any sort of form.”
Burns looked tentative during Sunday’s brief stay at the crease, which came two days after he was out for a second-ball duck to Jasprit Bumrah in the same match.
“You can’t miss straight ones on middle stump,” Border said.
“That’s where Joe Burns is at with his technique at the moment, he’s just shot.”
Border backed Harris and Matthew Wade to open in the pink-ball Test, however that plan would be dependent on Green being passed fit for a game that starts six days after his head knock
Former Test opener Chris Rogers, who is part of Australia A’s coaching staff, sympathised with Burns.
“You can get to this point where you’re just putting so much pressure on yourself,” Rogers said.
“There is some pressure on him, no doubt. He’s not stupid.
“A lot of the time it’s just about letting go.”