Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson
aus Australia
All Rounder, Bowler
Nick name
Mitchell Johnson
Batting style
Left Hand Bat
Bowling style
Left Arm Fast
Current Team
Indian Premier League 2016
November 2, 1981

The left-arm fast bowler is in peak form, rewriting the books in what can be termed as his second coming. He ran through some of the best lineups in the international circuit before announcing retirement from international arena in November 2015 . Mitchell Johnson is a rare commodity – a left-arm paceman with a slingy action. He bowls fast, uses the crease and can move the ball in both directions. The Australian, who was first spotted by the legendary fast bowler Dennis Lillee, played tennis while growing up, but soon switched to cricket. He struggled in his early days, but worked hard at his game and soon became Australia’s first-choice fast bowler. A handy lower-order batsman, he even has a Test century to his name. The Mumbai Indians signed him at the IPL Player Auction 2012 and was key to their fortunes in the 2013 season, claiming 24 wickets in 17 matches as they won the trophy. The Kings XI Punjab snapped him in the 2014 auction and he has been part of the team since.

An express bowler whose career has consisted of Himalayan peaks and oceanic troughs, Mitchell Johnson at his best was as fearsome as fast bowlers come. That summit came during 2013-14, when in successive series he cowed the batsmen of England and South Africa with his speed and aggression. In those eight Tests he collected 59 wickets at 15.23, along with a big bunch of cherries on helmets and gloves. Not surprisingly it led to Johnson winning his first Allan Border Medal, and at the age of 32 he was finally achieving the sorts of feats that Dennis Lillee might have expected when he first spotted Johnson’s talent as a 17-year-old. There had been other highlights along the way for Johnson, including brutal spells against South Africa in 2008-09, but the lows of his 2009 and 2010-11 Ashes campaigns left his legacy looking uncertain. Nerves and family problems contributed to those struggles, but a broken toe in 2011 gave him time away from the game and the chance to reflect on where he was going.

It was still far from smooth sailing: he offered little on the 2013 tour of India and was not even picked for the 2013 Ashes in England, but his return for the home Ashes that followed was emphatic. Wearing a moustache reminiscent of Lillee, he delivered a series of fast-bowling spells that would not have been out of place in the Lillee-Thomson era. Johnson intimidated with his bouncer and made England’s batsmen seriously uncomfortable; that he was Player of the Series was no surprise. As described by Wisden, the mood changed whenever he tore in: “This was something visceral: a hush followed by a crescendo”. A 12-wicket Test in Centurion in Australia’s next series showed that it was no fluke. After that South African tour Johnson’s pace eased off again, but he remained a strike weapon and became the fifth Australian bowler to take 300 wickets in Tests.

An athlete who started out preferring tennis, Johnson was late to focus on cricket and suffered early in his career with four back stress fractures that almost floored him for good. He persevered, driving a plumbing van when he lost his Queensland contract, and made his Test debut in 2007 after the retirement of Glenn McGrath. With a strong, flowing run to the crease, Johnson can become mechanical in delivery, especially if his wrist, a long-term concern, is in the wrong position. When it’s bad, he sprays the ball on both sides of the wicket like an old-fashioned firebrand. When it’s perfect, there are few better bowlers in the game. The late swing at pace is a major problem, along with sharp bounce, and sometimes it’s just the angle across the batsmen that undoes them. Off the field he is often so quiet that it is hard to reconcile with his on-field speed and aggression. Also a clean striker with the bat, Johnson scored a Test century in South Africa in 2009, but never quite reached the genuine all-round status that once seemed possible.

Indian Premier League 2016


Career Total