Burns, 25, was the only player from this summer’s Commonwealth Bank Test Series against India to miss selection for the winter Tests, with veteran Adam Voges getting the nod as the sixth batsman in the squad after his record-breaking season with the Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors.
Burns handled himself well after making his debut in the Boxing Day Test, scoring twin half-centuries in the drawn fourth Test at the SCG.
The versatile right-hander also had another solid season at domestic level, scoring 793 runs in the Bupa Sheffield Shield to finish sixth on the top run-scorer’s list.
The fact that Burns was overlooked underlines the strength of the 16-man squad; Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shaun Marsh and Voges were all included, while allrounders Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh will also be pushing for selection in the top six.
“Sometimes tough calls are made and 50-50 calls can go against you but you can’t get too down about it,” Burns told the Brisbane Times.
“You have to focus on what’s important and the things that you need to continually keep doing to keep performing.
“I think I’m not going to get too caught up in getting down in the dumps about it.
“I think it’s natural to be disappointed when you get left out of the Australian cricket team.
“It’s a great team to be a part of and I guess that’s why it hurts not to get the chance to play.”
The silver lining for Burns is his selection in the Australia A squad for a series of four-day and one-day matches in India in July.
The 14-man A squad for the four-day matches against India A features nine players with international experience and National Selector Rod Marsh said the tour will provide invaluable exposure to sub-continental conditions.
“It’s worked out quite nicely for Joe in a lot of ways,” Marsh said, “in as much as he’ll be going to India, where he’s never played cricket.
“He’ll have two four-day matches and five one-day matches in India and I reckon that will be very, very good for his overall development as a batsman.”
Burns has been one of the most consistent performers in Shield cricket in recent years, scoring 587, 564 and 793 runs in the past three seasons.
He’s also shown an almost unparalleled ability to bat anywhere in the order; he batted at No.6 in his two Tests despite spending the past two seasons as an opener, and he batted at numbers three, four and five in the myFoot Dr Queensland Bulls order earlier in his career.
With veteran opener Rogers indicating that he will retire from international cricket after the Ashes, Burns would be one of the leading candidates to join David Warner at the top of the in the Test side later this year.
But he’s equally adept further down the order; three of his eight first-class centuries has come as an opener, while he scored one at No.3 and two each and numbers four and five.
And at just 25 years old, Burns is optimistic he’ll pull on the Baggy Green cap again sooner rather than later.
“If you’re making runs you’re going to get selected, it’s as simple as that,” he said.
“I want to play for the next decade for Australia and I think being able to perform on the sub-continent is going to play a big part in that.
“So I think this (Australia A) tour will act as a great learning curve for the skills I want to develop.
“I had a good season and I was making runs across all forms right throughout the year so I take confidence in that.
“I don’t think I need to go away and change too much.
“I just need to do more of it and keep developing the little areas of my game. That’s the confidence I do take from the whole situation.”