“Mitchell Johnson retires from all forms of cricket!”
When I first heard the news, I was just like Woah! What’s gonna happen with the Aussie bowling now? How is the Aussie batting tail gonna flourish without him? Am sure it has come as a big blow to all Aussie fans all around the world.
The ICC Cricketer of the Year Award (2009) winner, announced his retirement on 17th of this month saying he had lost the hunger for cricket. Well, you have created a big vacum in the Aussie pace attack.
With Mitchell Starc the only pacer in form and Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood trying to make their place in the bowling attack, experience of Midge will be missed.
In December 2005, Johnson was selected for the Australian One Day International team, making his debut against New Zealand in Christchurch. Johnson gave the first signs of his potential at international level against the strong Indian batting line-up in a One Day International in Malaysia, Johnson’s 7th. He took 4/11 off just 4 overs, including the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh. In the fifth ODI at Vadodara against India he took 5/26, his first international five wicket haul.
Australia opened their Champions League campaign against an undermanned West Indian outfit who were without prominent players because of an industrial dispute.After being put into bat, Australia fell to 7/172 after 40 overs, before finishing on 8/275 in 50 overs. Johnson scored a career best 73 not out. In an innings which produced “fierce, clean hitting”, Johnson struck three sixes and eight fours in his quick-fire 47 ball innings. He secured the man of the match award as Australia won by 50 runs.
On 10 November 2007, while making his Australian Test match debut against Sri Lanka at his home ground in Brisbane, Johnson took his first wicket, that of Thilan Samaraweera, caught by Adam Gilchrist. Johnson went on to take 4/96 in the match.
In the 2009 South Africa test, I still remember him consistently swinging the ball in to the right hander and all do amazing stuff with his bat! In the first test, Johnson scored 96 not out, to help Australia post 466. What and innings it was with him scoring 26 runs in an over off the bowling of Paul Harris hitting him for 2 fours and 3 sixes. He also took eight wickets with the ball.
Johnson was named man of the series, with 16 wickets and over 250 runs in 3 matches.
However, his career dipped to an all time low in 2009 Ashes Series. He was criticised for his poor bowling and lack of control and his position of spearheading the Aussie Pace Attack was under scrutiny.
However, he became the first Australian to take 30 wickets and score 300 runs in a calendar year.However, his wayward bowling returned and Johnson became the subject of a chanting by the Barmy Army whenever he bowled; “He bowls to the left, He bowls to the right, That Mitchell Johnson, His bowling is shite.”
This lowered his confidence and he wouldn’t return as the best bowler again until the 2013-14 Ashes series in which he took 37 wickets and terrorised the English batsmen.
Mitchell Johnson says the death of Phillip Hughes last year made him question the way he played the game. His fast bowling, the bouncers he bowled made the batsmen on the crease fear him. But the incident with Phil Hughes was one which was because of such aggressive bowling and thereafter there always persisted that thought in his mind, what if my ball hits someone?
Mitchell Johnson’s international career: