Former Australian cricket team pacer Mitchell Johnson is currently in India for the Legends League Cricket. He plays for Jacques Kallis-led India Capitals and played in Saturday’s game against Gujarat Giants. The 40-year-old fast left-arm, who played for Australia in 73 Tests, 153 ODIs and 30 T20Is, is now in Lucknow and had an interesting encounter in his hotel room. A snake entered his room, amusing the Australian cricketer. “Does anyone know what kind of snake this is? Just hanging in my room door,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I found a better photo of this snake head. Still don’t know what it is exactly. Interesting stay so far in Lucknow, India,” he wrote in another post.
Earlier, in an interview with PTI, Johnson said India’s squad for the T20 World Cup seems “a bit risky” as they are likely to be “a pace short” for the bouncy pitches Down Under. The skilled Mohammad Shami has been kept on standby, which has surprised a few experts of the game as Indian selectors continued to maintain confidence in the quartet led by Jasprit Bumrah with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh in the ranks.
“If you have an all-rounder (fast bowling) and a couple of spinners, four fast bowlers, it’s a bit of a risk. But India is probably looking at playing two pacers and an all-rounder (Hardik Pandya) and two spinners.” Johnson, who is in India to compete in Legends League Cricket, told PTI.
“In Australia you definitely have to play three fast bowlers, possibly four under certain circumstances, for example Perth. I think they have a plan, but it’s a bit of a risk if you only take four (pacers),” the former left arm quickly ripped away .
In the Indian lineup, only Bumrah is the man, who can consistently clock up 140 clicks, but pace cannot be the sole criterion to form a powerful bowling unit, Johnson opined. In the recently held Asia Cup in the UAE, India was criticized for their bowling depth (or lack thereof) in the absence of Bumrah, while Pakistan boasted of bowlers rattling the batters with their fast pace.
Johnson, however, finds the emphasis on tempo funny. “Things like that are funny (all that should be bowling at 145 plus). If someone can bowl 145 plus, you don’t need another guy bowling at the same pace. You need guys who support each other, work together.” He then quoted how Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, two fast medium-seam bowlers, complemented him during the 2013-14 Ashes, where England were literally thrashed.
“During the 2013/14 Ashes there was a lot of talk about bowling fast and that was great, but then again I had Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris who had their own strengths and could hit 140s too. So it’s all about the balance in the team.
“The most important thing in Australia is the extra bounce and the pace and adjusting your height. You can get carried away and bowl a little too short.”
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