Last week Australia’s Premiere Fast Bowler, Mitchell Johnson retired from all format of cricket. He was quick, fast and aggressive. Started his cricketing career for Queensland he had a childhood dream to play Tennis but his fate was something else. He catches the eyes of Dennis Lillee in fast bowling clinic in Brisbane at the age of 17 and considered as rare talent to bowl quick. Lillee send him to Rod Marsh who arranged Johnson to join Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide. Although he was going to start his first class career immediately which was ruined because of back injury. He waited for 2 years and eventually debut for Queensland against New Zealand.
Johnson’s first catchy performance was against India in DLF Cup Malaysia, a triangular series between India, Australia and West Indies. In a rain spoiled game he bowled fast and quick to dismiss Tendulkar, Dravid, Yuvraj and Pathan and gave a figure of 4/11 in 4 overs. It was a major breakthrough for a player like him. He’s having slingy action and very quick to bowl which generates the pace of over 150Kph. He’s a master class of his own who can bowl quick, very quick. He even broke the wrist of Graeme Smith twice and Jacque Kallis’s once.
Although he having professional and personal problems through out his career but all the time he overcome those by making a big comebacks. Its easy to become fast bowlers but match winning test fast bowlers by bowling 150 case is a sheer talent. After Wasim Akram he probably the world’s most threatening left handed fast bowler, he’s consistent pace in a hard deck is enough to disturb someone’s rhythm. Australia’s is not much known of its spin department after Shane Warne only Nathon Lyon found some success in Test but Team who’s heavily relying on Fast Bowler needs some fine Talent. Replacement of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie is a tough ask but not difficult either.
Fitness is a biggest acid for any fast bowler specially bowler who have not a conventional action, Mitch Johnson is a best example of how a player can do it although he did have a problem in his decade long career but he keeps on overcoming from the blow and keeps on raising the bar of his performance. He had a toe injury after a disappointed 2010-11 Ashes it was a most important series on which he needs to perform but he failed to do so, he’s poor form made him a subject for Barmy Army to chant against him. Toe injury was a moment to escape from a bad form he had on that point of time.
Controversial Homework-gate incident at 2012-13 too is a life changing moment for him as per his column for FOX SPORTS, he reveled that he was upset and bowled a quick fires to Late Phil Hughes and Glenn Maxwell for next 45 minutes. That series is still a unforgettable test series for India’s prospective where India beat Australia by 4-0 in 4 Match Series quite comprehensively. That series was the most talked one in the history of both India and Australia.
A big change of Mitchell Johnson’s career came after a demise of his team mate Philip Hughes on the Cricket Field, bower like Mitchell Johnson who was fast, quick, ruthless can’t digest that blow ever because Phil died while playing a bouncer of Victorian Fast Sean Abbott, this horrific tragedy is enough to thrill anyone and ofcourse Johnson too must come on this blow. At Adelaide test when he bowled the bouncer to Virat Kohli which hit on his helmet he and every Australian player immediately ran to look on Virat all right, Johnson must be in more shock then anyone else on that moment that was the first test Australia was playing after a tragic incident. A shy relief for everyone when Kohli signaled as everything is ok.
In Johnson’s recent column he admitted that he lost the hunger to play, he already made his mind to retire after a disappointed 2015 Ashes Tour. Couple of Senior players including Micheal Clarke already decided to hang their boots but later Johnson believed on himself by seeing young lads bowling fast and quick for their Team but Johnson need the one bad test match to called off his day. Recently concluded 2nd Test Match against New Zealand in Western Australia turned down his last. Although he did surpassed Brett Lee’s 311 Test Wickets and become the 4th leading test wicket takers for Australia joining the club of great legends like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee
Mitchell Johnson believed on himself and self determination to comeback strongly made him special among others, he retire by himself, decided on his own eventually gave up cricket on his domestic home ground WACA where he moved from Queensland at 2008 for his family. Still Johnson can carry on for another 1 – 2 years if not in longer format then on shorter format but he decided to end his decade long stint with a great style of 2/20 in his final spell of 6 overs. Hopefully we see Mitch Johnson bowl in T20 Cricket and become Teacher of Future Talents.