Australia news October 30, 2012

Mitchell Johnson joins Brisbane Heat

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mitchell Johnson has signed with the Brisbane Heat for this summer's Big Bash League campaign after being part of the Perth Scorchers roster last season. Johnson, who turns 31 this week, did not play a match for the Scorchers last season due to injury and while he remains committed to playing for Western Australia in the longer form of the game, joining the Heat for the BBL will allow him to spend some time in his former home state of Queensland.

"I'm enjoying my cricket with the Warriors and signing with the Heat means I can have a chance to keep playing through December and January, which is the time of year you want to be in action and performing," Johnson said. "I enjoyed the challenge with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL and at the Champions League and I was happy with how I went for Australia in the ODI series in Dubai during the winter.

"I'm really looking forward to playing at the Gabba once more and catching up with the boys again. There was a lot of good cricket played last season in the BBL and I think everyone who saw the Sixers win the Champions League this week would agree that that standard of the competition is excellent."

Johnson has slipped down in Australia's Test fast-bowling queue since he last played in the baggy green in November last year, but the national selector John Inverarity indicated on Monday he would remain in the selectors' thoughts this summer. Should Johnson pile up the wickets in the Sheffield Shield over the next few weeks he will provide the selectors with another option.

"Mitchell Johnson, in the first two Shield games in Perth, his action was good and he bowled very well," Inverarity said. "Michael [Clarke] made 60-odd against him and thought he bowled very well."

Johnson moved from Queensland to Western Australia in 2008 to be with his then-girlfriend Jessica Bratich, who was based in Perth. The couple are expecting their first baby, due in early December.

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  • Peter on October 30, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    Young guys like Cummins, Starc and Pattinson seem to be the future for Australia. If Johnson is ever considered for selection again, he has to show consistency and take lots of wickets domestically. Picking Johnson is always a gamble. In the last Ashes, he won the Perth Test virtually single-handed with a magic spell, but was awful in the other three he played in. You Aussies now know what we went through with Harmison! On their day, world beaters - but their days were too few and far between.

  • Andrew on October 30, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    @bobagorof on (October 30 2012, 05:44 AM GMT) - yep, I think he needs to take twice as many wickets per match to climb the ladder. @Chris Collins - I think you are right re: the Baggy Green (although I wouldn't be surprised if MJ makes a WACA appearance in a Test), but I believe he is a MUST for our short form sides. Having a bloke like MJ (more economical in ODIs than people may think) with a world class S/R - really takes the workload off other bowlers. I certainly hope he is considered for ODIs & T20s even. @Liquefierrrr on (October 30 2012, 06:27 AM GMT) - that pretty much sums it up! (Except maybe a WACA cameo?)

  • Dayne on October 30, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    I'm sure plenty of people on here will either rue this decision by QLD (if they are QLD'ers) or welcome this (if they aren't). Truth is his T20I stats are pretty useful, especially his economy rate. He can hit a long ball down the order, bowl fairly sharp, and when on song (which I know is inconsistent at best) is very destructive in the shorter formats. His ODI stats reinforce that notion. Welcome back Mitch, at least from me. I hope to see you do well, just kindly never play Test Cricket again.

  • Dummy4 on October 30, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    I dont think Johnson will play for Oz again. With the young talent around the country, we dont need Johnson.

  • Michael on October 30, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    He may be 'bowling well', but match figures of 2-104 (29 overs) and 3-79 (24 overs) aren't quite the results he needs to put him back in contention. In comparison, Bollinger has taken 4-128 (32 overs) and 4-105 (39 overs) in his two matches this season - averaging 7 less runs per wicket, needing 10 less balls per wicket, and having a better economy rate.

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