[close]

Burns' big century reward for persistence

Joe Burns has played just six Tests since his previous century for Australia, but had been dropped three times in that period before his big ton in Canberra.

Burns' big century reward for persistence

Joe Burns has played just six Tests since his previous century for Australia, but had been dropped three times in that period before his big ton in Canberra.

JOE BURNS of Queensland plays a shot during the Sheffield Shield final match between Queensland and Tasmania at Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Australia.
JOE BURNS of Queensland plays a shot during the Sheffield Shield final match between Queensland and Tasmania at Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Australia. Picture:Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images

Joe Burns finally has his reward after spending time not knowing when his next opportunity would come in Test cricket after four games and three axings in two-and-a-half years.

Burns went to stumps on Friday's first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka with a career-high score of 172no, topping his 170 in February 2016 against New Zealand.


But after that knock against the Black Caps, he was dropped three times and forced to fight his way back through the Sheffield Shield.

The Queenslander was sacked midway through Australia's 2016 loss in Sri Lanka, given a reprieve in Hobart later that year and dropped again after the South African flogging.

His next chance came in the final Test of last year's South African tour after the ball-tampering saga with Australia short on stocks, before again being overlooked in October for Pakistan in the UAE.

"It can be tough. Obviously extreme circumstances in how (the two different returns) unfolded," Burns said.

"That's not just cricket - that's life sometimes. You can't plan too far ahead and just take the good.

"You never know when's your last Test match or when you could be out of the team.

"I think every player, when you're out of the team, you wonder if the opportunities that were there in the past will be there in the future."

Burns' responses in recent years have been clear.

He hit 725 runs at 55.76 in last season's Shield before the late call-up in South Africa, and had to again knock the door down this summer with an average of 47.20 in the domestic competition before being called up last week for Brisbane.

Retained for the first time in two years, he wouldn't miss his opportunity again.

"It makes days like today where you get to kiss the badge on your helmet bloody good," Burns said.

"It's just a message to yourself really knowing, when you're out of the team, if you work hard, day in and day out, performances like this are just around the corner if you get stuck in and put performances on the board."

Patient early as he negated the early swing and withstood an Australian collapse at 3-28, he played well off the back foot.

But just as impressive as his 26 boundaries was his willingness to leave the ball, clearly demonstrating the work he's putting into his defence.

And it couldn't have come at a better time, with Australia's top six set to be squeezed to just four with David Warner and Steve Smith free to return for the Ashes.

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories