Australia news May 11, 2012

Injury stopped me from quitting cricket - Johnson

ESPNcricinfo staff

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has revealed that had it not been for the foot injury he sustained in South Africa last November, he would by now have retired from international cricket. Johnson, who was recalled to Australia's ODI squad for their upcoming tour of England and Ireland, said the injury had come at the "right time".

Johnson injured ligaments in his big left toe while batting in the second Test against South Africa at Wanderers in November 2011 and missed the entire Australian season due to surgery. "Going into that Test in Johannesburg, I was unsure if I could perform, to be honest. It was at that point where I really just wanted to get away from the game and step back from it," Johnson said. "The injury did come at the right time. I'd probably lost a bit of interest in playing the game.

"If I hadn't got the injury, if I had kept going, I could have got dropped and that could have been it. That [retirement] could have been on the cards for sure. I guess being away from the media helped a little bit, not copping it day in, day out. So that's been a bit of a relief."

Johnson said his poor performance in the first Test against South Africa, which Australia lost by eight wickets after holding a first innings lead of 188, dented his confidence. "That was really hard to come back from. It was a little bit embarrassing really," he said. "My wife came over because she could tell I was really struggling." Johnson ended the Test with figures of 1 for 87 and was the most expensive of all the Australian bowlers.

Australia's selector John Inverarity was hopeful that Johnson would make an impact on his return. "He [Johnson] is also in strong contention for the ICC World Twenty20 and needs to be in the set-up and have some quality competitive cricket leading into this. The National Selection Panel is looking forward to Mitchell being reinvigorated after being out of the game for six months," Inverarity said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on May 14, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    @Stephen Dunstan on (May 14 2012, 10:36 AM GMT) I'm sure you will gloat and say I told you so if things go wrong for MJ but I tend to find that most people who make statements about people eating humble pie are the ones that disappear when things don't go as expected and besides Meety isn't saying how Mitch will do this or that he is currently a decent test bowler. As an England fan I have no bias in this at all but the facts are that acc to ICC Aus are the best ODI side and MJ is the best of their bowlers so he can't be doing too badly can he? Maybe he has been/is wayward in tests but being bad at one format does not necessarily equate to being bad in another. Maybe MJ has a different mindset , more suited to the OD game these days

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    @Meety. I will be there with a large pice of humble pie for you bud. If he cant bowl accuratly and economically in Tests then how the hell is he going to do it in T20 and 50/50. Hope you like apples too. Think you need to watch cricket not just barrack. @Indianinner edge, No blinkers mate just reality from watching cricket for the last 47 years. :-)

  • Andrew on May 13, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    @Stephen Dunstan - "only as good as your last test" - that is a common sporting phrase that honestly is quite weak. So Bradman was a hack because he got out for a duck in his last innings? Obviously not. So the phrase is just a good way to sledge in all reality. Regarding MJ, his test career is/was going backward. However, your comments don't stack up when you consider his ODI & T20 form. He is one of Oz's greatest ODI bowlers of all time, AND this article is coinciding with his reselection in ODIs NOT tests.

  • Anupam on May 13, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    some guys stick with SA tour. tell me any player in this worlds who did't face bad days? gillespie after ashes he bowls like a school boy, lee i don't know why he is in ODI side. tell me who trhe bowler after mcgrath, lee, gillespie played for a long except MJ. who took the responsibility of Oz spearhead, and main bowler after mcgrath, gillespie, lee. clark played a supportive role but very less time period career. pattinson, cummins are there but still not tested and we don't rely on too young players. test cricket is all about experience and technique not a joke.

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    @AKS286. Your only as good as your last Test. MJ v Sth Africa. 1/101 and that was Amla who was on 105 at the time!!!! and 1/61 off only 11 overs. Nice tight accurate McGrath like bowling there...NOT!!!!

  • John on May 13, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    @IndianInnerEdge on (May 12 2012, 14:08 PM GMT) From the article above MJ is to my mind being very honest and if anything is doing the opposite of making excuses. He is actually saying that if it wasn't for the injury coming when it did he might have retired - so he's giving the injury as a blessing rather than an excuse. Even if a huge workload/injury is being used as an excuse ,some players go through horrible injuries even if they don't play so much cricket or even if they train particularly hard. In Eng we have Stuart Broad who despite his great physique and work ethic is injury prone. I think Ryan Harris is a little like that

  • Andrew on May 13, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    @Indian Inner Edge - re: so what? I agree re: the BAGGYGREEN, however, his workload could easily have been managed over the short forms. Just so you know where I'm coming from - if a bowler is fit & is expected to be within the best bowling options they should play no questions asked in tests. As for ODIs & T20s, their workload should be managed in relation to what is best for tests. Given that MJ is unlikely to play as many tests in the near future, I am okay with him playing in just about every short form game moving forward. As far as his short forms future, I don't think he is anywhere near the last chance saloon. He will be lucky to ever play a test match outside of the WACA ever again though. @Stephen Dunstan - there is a difference between MJ the Test bowler & MJ the ODI bowler. MJ is not far below an alltime great Oz ODI bowler, the stats over a reasonably long career support that claim. His S/R is better than Lillee, McGrath, McDermott & Gillespie. I think you have blinkers on

  • Anupam on May 13, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    MJ tops 24 performance are against world's best team, after 24 the 25th best performance comes against the Poorest WI in test buddy. just check out and then speak loud about swing line length, pace, etc. gud luck MJ.

  • Anupam on May 13, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    the 5 unlucky bowlers of Oz which could not managed well by CA are anthony stuart, mcgill, stuart clark, bracken. no rotaion policy fixed place of mcgrath, lee, gillespie even worst bichael, i still with my words MJ is the best bowler currently. he is a match winner, striker and perform in any kind of pitch. except of johnson no Oz bowler can perform in a sub continent (4 test playing countries and 3 of them are world cup winners and having legend spinners and test batsmen). he has bad times but we have to forget those days. every one faces bad days. 47 matches 190 wickets with a batting avg of 21.81 what else you want from a bowler. he will make ashes.

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2012, 5:01 GMT least we seem to be watching the same games mate. all these pple backing a has been whose purple patch is long gone. As for the nana that says he is good for batting, the guy has not made any runs for YEARS!!. Because of this we have now lost our bowling coach. MJ goes to the Ashes we wont be bringing them home anytime soon. The only ppl who want him in the test side are the Poms.

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