Former Australian cricket team pacer Mitchell Johnson is currently in India for the Legends League Cricket. He is playing for Jacques Kallis-led India Capitals and featured in the game against Gujarat Giants on Saturday. The 40-year-old left-arm quick, who played in 73 Tests, 153 ODIs and 30 T20Is for Australia, is in Lucknow now and had an interesting encounter in his hotel room. A snake entered his room, which left the Australian cricketer amused. “Anyone know what type of snake this is?? Just hanging out in my room door,” he wrote in an instagram post. “Found a better pic of this snakes head. Still unsure what it is exactly. Interesting stay so far in Lucknow, India,” he wrote in another post.
Earlier, in an interview to PTI, Johnson said India’s squad composition for the T20 World Cup seems a “bit risky” as they are probably “a pacer short” for the bouncy pitches Down Under. The skillful Mohammad Shami has been kept on standby which has surprised a few experts of the game as Indian selectors kept faith on the quartet led by Jasprit Bumrah with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh in its ranks.
“If you got an all-rounder (fast bowling) and couple of spinners, four fast bowlers it is a bit of a risk. But India are probably looking at playing two pacers and an all rounder (Hardik Pandya) and two spinners,” Johnson, who is in India to take part in Legends League Cricket, told PTI.
“In Australia you surely need to play three fast bowlers, possibly four in certain conditions, for example Perth. I guess they have a plan going in but it is a bit of a risk if you only take four (pacers),” the former left-arm tearaway quick.
In Indian set-up, only Bumrah is the man, who can consistently clock 140 clicks upwards but pace can’t be the only criteria to form a potent bowling unit, Johnson opined. In the recently held Asia Cup in the UAE, India were criticised for their bowling depth (or lack of it) in the absence of Bumrah while Pakistan boasted of bowlers who rattled the batters with their express pace.
However, Johnson finds the emphasis on pace funny. “Those kind of things are funny (That all should bowl at 145 plus). If someone can bowl 145 plus, you don’t need another guy bowling at the same pace. You need guys that back each other up, work together.” He then cited how Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, two fast medium seam bowlers complemented him during the 2013-14 Ashes where England were literally drubbed.
“During the 2013-14 Ashes, there was a lot of talk about me bowling fast and that was great but at the other end I had Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris who had their own strengths and could also hit 140s. So it is all about the balance in the team.
“The main thing in Australia is the extra bounce and pace and adjusting your length, you can get carried away and bowl a bit too short.”
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