Australian cricket is no stranger to drama, and the latest episode unfolds as Mitchell Johnson, the former Australian pacer, swipes at David Warner’s farewell plans and questions the rationale behind his selection.
Mitchell Johnson, a key figure in Australia’s 2015 ODI World Cup triumph alongside David Warner, recently unleashed a scathing critique. He expressed disbelief at Warner’s role in deciding his farewell and raised concerns about the opener’s selection in the Test team.
Johnson didn’t mince words, pointing to Warner’s alleged lack of ownership for the infamous ‘Sandpaper Gate’ scandal that rocked Australian cricket in 2018. The critique goes beyond performance, delving into the ethical shadows that linger.
In response to Johnson’s critique, David Warner’s manager, James Erskine, enters the fray. Erskine defends Warner’s selection in the Test team, emphasizing the logical choice based on current form and skills.
Erskine adds a touch of humor, pointing out that it’s fortunate Mitchell Johnson isn’t a test selector. The manager implies that Warner’s form, experience, and alternatives in Renshaw, Bancroft, and Harris make his selection a logical choice.
“Let me tell you, anyone can get a headline. The fact is Warner’s selection is just logical. The three replacement candidates will be Renshaw, Bancroft – who has played pretty well in the Sheffield Shield – and Harris. Now they’ve all had spells opening the batting for Australia. David is in good form. Thank God Mitchell Johnson isn’t a Test selector,” Erskine was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Despite Johnson’s reservations, Warner showcased remarkable form in the recently concluded ODI World Cup 2023. Finishing as the sixth-highest run-getter, Warner amassed 535 runs with two centuries and two fifties, pivotal in Australia’s sixth ODI World Cup title.
As Warner prepares to bid farewell to Test cricket after the upcoming series against Pakistan, he aims to finish his red-ball career on a high note. Starting in Perth on December 14, the series holds significance for the veteran opener.
Mitchell Johnson’s query resonates: Should a struggling Test batsman determine his farewell route? The selection dynamics, especially for the opening slot, come under scrutiny, raising broader questions about the role of selectors.