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Burns fails again in draw



The pressure continues to mount on Australian opener Joe Burns ahead of the Test series against India, again failing to impress in being dismissed for one in the second innings for Australia A at the SCG on Sunday.


Centuries for Ben McDermott and Jack Wildermuth were the highlights of the final day in a match that petered out to a draw at the SCG, but all the focus was on Burns latest failure with the bat ahead of Thursday's day/night Test that leaves the Australian selectors with more questions than answers.


India declared on their overnight total of 4-386, setting Australia A an ambitious final day target of 473 after centuries for Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant put the visitors in a strong position.


Having officially been added to the Test squad for the injured Will Pucovski on Saturday Marcus Harris departed in just the fifth over of the day, caught at leg slip from the bowling of Mohammed Shami for five.


After consecutive ducks Burns got off the mark with a single, but was trapped in front by Shami for one from 21 balls to continue his miserable run to the summer that has seen him average 6.8 from 5 first class matches.


When Nic Maddinson slapped Mohammed Siraj to point for 14 the tourists were well on the way to victory with Australia A 3-25.


Ben McDermott and Alex Carey recovered the innings as the bowling lost it's venom in the late afternoon, both players playing positively to guide the team out of trouble.


McDermott was particularly fluent through the off-side, captain Carey reaching a half century before chipping the off-spin of Vihari to mid-off for 58.


It was the last success India would have with the ball for the day as McDermott and Jack Wildermuth both registered centuries, McDermott with his second first class century after four half centuries in as many Sheffield Shield matches to start the summer.


Wildermuth, only added to the squad the day before the match reached his third first class ton, finishing on 111* from just 119 balls with 12 fours and three sixes.


McDermott was on 107* when the teams shook hands on a drawn match, the pitch flattening out after 20 wickets fell on day one, just eight more wickets falling on the remaining two days of the game.


India will now head to Adelaide to prepare for Thursday's first Test match, Australia with a decision to make on their starting XI with Burns short of runs and Pucovski ruled out, Cameron Green to face a fitness test for his concussion sustained on the opening day of the match to determine if he is fit to make his Test debut.


The Test series commences on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval, followed by Tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.


IMAGE: Herald Sun.