Mitchell Johnson: Why a player at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off
One of Australia’s all-time great batters, David Warner, will pull on the white shirt for the national team for the last time as they get ready for the Test series against Pakistan; despite a Warner’s poor performance in the longest format, Mitchell Johnson, a former Australian star, is not happy that Warner was chosen for the Test match against Pakistan.
One of Australia’s all-time great batters, David Warner, will pull on the white shirt for the national team for the last time as they get ready for the Test series against Pakistan.
Despite Warner’s poor performance in the longest format, Mitchell Johnson, a former Australian star, is not happy that Warner was chosen for the Test match against Pakistan.
Johnson unabashedly attacked Warner in his column, pointing out that the southpaw’s chance to play his final series was granted despite his bad performance and his role in the ‘sandpaper gate’ scandal.
“As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why?”
Johnson wrote in his column for The West Australian.
“Why a struggling Test opener gets to nominate his retirement date.
“And why a player at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off?”he added.
Cricket Australia criticized Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft in addition to Warner for their roles in the Sandpaper Gate scandal.
Even when their ban ended, Smith and Warner were not allowed to assume leadership positions in the wake of the incident. However, Johnson was not amused that Warner, a senior member of the team, was heavily involved in the scandal.
“Although Warner wasn’t alone in Sandpaper Gate, he was at the time a senior member of the team and someone who liked to use his perceived power as a ‘leader’,”Johnson wrote.
“Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country. What will fans bring for Warner? Bunning’s would sell out of sandpaper,”he wrote.
“Ultimately, an international cricket career is not just about your statistical achievements with bat or ball. How you held yourself and how you played the game will live long after you depart,”said the former Aussie quick.
In addition to criticizing Warner, Johnson also attacked Australia coach Andrew McDonald, claiming that Warner’s selection does not imply that he chose the team based on merit.
“Australia coach Andrew McDonald said recently they will be picking this summer’s Test squad based on current performances.
“It would be nice to know how long this strategy has been in place because it doesn’t seem to have applied to Warner for quite a while.”
Lance Morris, an uncapped bowler, has been named in Australia’s 14-man squad for the first Test match against Pakistan in Perth, which is scheduled to begin on December 14. Due to his explosive pace, Morris is known as “The Wild Thing.”
He has taken 74 wickets at an average of 25.44 in just 22 games so far in his first-class career. In front of his home supporters in the state of Western Australia, he might be making his Test debut.
Morris, who could easily bowl deliveries at 150 kmph, made a comeback to the Sheffield Shield following a back injury. In just three matches, he claimed 11 wickets, playing as if his injury had never occurred.
Morris becomes a part of a world-class pace attack that includes players like Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and captain Pat Cummins.
Both pace-bowling all-rounders Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh have been named and will probably compete for one spot in the playing XI, while off-spinner Nathan Lyon defeated Todd Murphy to secure a spot in the team following his recovery from a calf injury that kept him out of the Ashes series.
All of the expected batting additions were Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, and Steve Smith; David Warner continued to be an essential member of the team even though no backup batter was selected.
The Prime Minister’s XI has been selected for an audition against Pakistan on December 6, with players vying for a spot in the squad, particularly Marcus Harris, Matt Renshaw, and Cameron Bancroft.
The men’s selection panel chairman, George Bailey, said that while there is still potential for fringe players to make an impact in the upcoming WTC cycle of 2023–2025, he believes that the stars that lifted the ICC World Test Championship earlier this year deserve to the return.
“This group led by Pat Cummins, has built a strong resume over an extended time period. We believe they have earned the opportunity to start in our first home Test match of the new World Test Championship cycle,”said Bailey, as quoted by the ICC.
“As ever, there will be opportunities in the short to medium term to break into this squad and we look forward to seeing the continued strong performances from players who have been performing domestically, many of whom will get a tremendous opportunity in the PM’s XI fixture against Pakistan later this week,”Bailey said.
On December 14, Australia and Pakistan will play their first Test match at Perth Stadium which is set to begin at 1:20 PM AEDT.
Australia squad: (First Test only) Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner.Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi.