The Australian cricket team have undergone a terrible time in Test cricket in the last one year. They have lost series to South Africa, Pakistan and India. In the four-Test series against India, they suffered losses in Adelaide and Melbourne as they suffered a loss against an Asian side for the first-time ever at home. Ever since the Pakistan series in the UAE, only one Australian scored a century and that was Usman Khawaja who scored 141 in the Dubai Test. In the home series against India, no Australian scored a century while in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane, the century drought continued. Ahead of the Test in Brisbane, Australia were in danger of breaching a 136-year low.
The last time Australia went without a Test century on home soil over a summer of three or more Tests was way back in 1882-83 against England. However, the century drought ended in grand style as Joe Burns registered his fourth century in his 16th Test and it represented a good return for a player who has dropped frequently from the Test side.
Australia was reduced to 28/3 and it required a wonderful knock from Burns and Travis Head to restore the advantage for Tim Paine’s side. Burns was dropped on 34 by Dhananjaya de Silva off Dilruwan Perera and he made most of the chance. Heading into the lunch session, Australia made a tremendous fightback and Burns got good support from Head. The right-hander struck three fours in one over of Vishwa Fernando and he neared the milestone. Burns reached his century off Kasun Rajitha and the celebrations summed up the joy.
Head also made great progress and he benefited from Dilruwan Perera’s drop off his own bowling and he made the bowler pay by slamming his maiden century with a drive through mid-off for a boundary. The partnership between Head and Burns decimated Sri Lanka and the duo notched up the 300-run partnership, the first time that an Australian batting partnership had registered a triple century stand ever since Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh in the Perth Test against England.
Sri Lanka continued to drop catches and concede easy runs but the 308-run stand was broken when Head missed a flick and was trapped in front by Fernando for 161. Burns continued to make great progress as Australia scored close to 400 runs in a day. The Manuka Oval in Canberra is hosting a Test for the first time. However, the venue has already provided Australia some great moments.