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Johnson ponders limited-overs future

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 15, 2014

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Mitchell Johnson celebrates having Joe Root trapped lbw, Australia v England, 2nd ODI, Gabba, January 17, 2014
'Twenty20, I will quite happily say, is not my favourite format' - Johnson © Getty Images
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Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has said he might consider quitting one or both limited-overs formats in order to prolong his Test career, with the 2015 Ashes in England in mind. Though Johnson is yet to make up his mind on which format to drop, he hinted at reconsidering his T20 career first, as he has ambitions of spearheading Australia's bowling attack for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

"I think I've got to be a lot smarter now. Twenty20, I will quite happily say, is not my favourite format - I would rather play Test cricket," Johnson told cricket.com.au. "And maybe one-day cricket I have to look at as well.

"But my main goal now is to get to that 2015 Ashes series in England, so I'll be doing everything I can to reach that goal."

Johnson proved the difference for Australia as they reclaimed the Ashes at home with a 5-0 thrashing of England. He missed the previous Ashes in England, which the hosts won 3-0, but Australia's turnaround in the return series was largely due to his hostile bowling spells that left the England batsmen shell-shocked. He finished the leading wicket-taker with 37 wickets and his lethal spells continued in South Africa, where he yet again finished on top of the wicket charts with 22, guiding Australia to a 2-1 series win.

Johnson missed the recently concluded World T20 in Bangladesh due to a toe injury he sustained in South Africa. Having recovered, he is gearing up for a full season of the IPL, having being bought by Kings XI Punjab. He said he was looking forward to taking part in the World T20.

"Twenty20 cricket you don't play a lot of anyway, it just happened at this time there was a World Cup straight after the South Africa series which I was looking forward to being involved in before I got injured," Johnson said.

Johnson is yet to experience a World Cup win as an active member of the squad. Though he was part of the winning 2007 World Cup squad in the West Indies, he was benched through the tournament, and in the 2010 World T20, Australia finished runners-up.

"I'd like to win a World Cup. I've been involved in the West Indies in 2007 which was a well-paid holiday apparently," he said. "And while it was tough work, the campaign we went through, it was a good place to be and a great experience.

"So I would love to be a part of Australia's 2015 World Cup and I certainly think we've got the team to win it. We've played some really good one-day cricket and given that it's being played at home, it would be a great opportunity."

Johnson's rebirth as a lethal new-ball bowler for Australia began in the ODI series in England following the Ashes defeat. Prior to that, he was in good form for Mumbai Indians in the 2013 IPL, where he finished the joint second-highest wicket-taker for the team with 24 wickets, helping them to their maiden title.

"I've had confidence with the white ball and been pretty consistent in the limited-overs format," Johnson said. "You can get the white ball to swing, but really it's just good to get out there and enjoy some cricket which is how I see the IPL - it's really just a form of entertainment."

Australia's next Test series will be against Pakistan in the UAE in October, before they host India for four Tests.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Lachy7 on (April 22, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

@cricketsubh

Interesting points you've made cricketsubh, Me personally, I love all forms of cricket. I stay up late and watch Australia play what ever the format or result is. I think Australians are finding it hard to accept the so called hit and giggle format of the game, due to the fact that the baggy green isn't worn. It is a big part in Australian sporting history, and in the limited overs, they don't wear the cap.

Australians in general love their sport, especially cricket and will usually come out and support their team whatever the format is.

Also about Johnson, he's getting older and by 2015 he'll be about 35 and may not be able to bowl as quick as he has this series. I think that we would rather keep him out of a World cup and miss out on limited overs glory than losing to 'The Old Enemy.'

Posted by cricketsubh on (April 22, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

aus got 6 test before the nxt years ashes 2 vs pak ,and 4vs ind in home so jhonson and harris will play the 2015 ashes .

Posted by cricketsubh on (April 22, 2014, 5:18 GMT)

lachy7@ i do not agree with u if aus fan only want to watch their playing test not odi ,t20s so why the come to watch odi,t20s in aus when aus plays the odi cb series and kfct20 the main problem was becoz aus lose the ashes in eng and they lose eng 3-1 in 2010-11 ashes in home and really want to beat eng in eng so they really want to win in england so their media,cricketers,fans already talk about ashes 2015 aus media makes their ashes squad,fans also talk about ashes which player in or out aus player talk about they really want part of the 2015 ashes squad no one care wc2015 so if aus win the ashes in 2015 so what next next ashes i think aus cricket team goes like england team at the moment only focus on test and ashes nothing else i think this is the wrong think to do .plz publish cricinfo plz plz plz

Posted by Lachy7 on (April 21, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

It's his choice. If he wants to only play test cricket rather than limited overs matches, then I'm sure about 90% of Australian fans would be very happy.

In Australia, test cricket is the pinnacle of cricket. Every Aussie cricket loving kid dreams to wear the baggy green.

Posted by Jagger on (April 18, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

@ cricketsubh - The Ashes is more important than any limited overs game. Including the World Cup.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (April 18, 2014, 2:24 GMT)

Well he is clearly a dominant bowling force in world cricket at the present time. What an amazing turnaround by a guy > 30 y.o. considering all the negative comments he has received from people around the globe. He will be a force for some time to come whether at home or abroad.

Well done Mitch! A fine example of the Aussie test cricketers mental toughness, which of course is the main difference between the Aussies and the others and has been down the generations.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2014, 19:08 GMT)

We need Ryano and Mitch for the 2015 Ashes campaign. MJ needs to do whatever he can to be fit and firing for that. If that means giving up on T20 or ODI good on him.

Posted by cricketsubh on (April 17, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

jhonson need to focus on wc2015 his last WC ashes is a test series not a wc i think jhonson need to fit and fair and win the wc for aus as far ashes this aus team can win easyly in 2015 ashes tour i do not think eng can build a team in 1 years time so focus on bigger gole and win wc becoz hole world knows player who won the WC FOR HIS COUNTRY NOT FOR ASHES SO JHONSON NOT LUK TO FAR .PLZ PUBLISH CRICINFO

Posted by ss1981 on (April 17, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

no please Mitch.. go away

Posted by dunger.bob on (April 17, 2014, 4:39 GMT)

Considering we're nearly half way through 2014, Mitch shouldn't have any trouble achieving his stated targets as long as his form and fitness don't tumble dramatically in the next 12-18 months. If he can stay upright for another 15 months, he'll be in England next July. Another 6 months will see him playing in the 50 overs WC in Au/NZ. I suppose anything can happen in the weird world of sport, but really, I'd back him to get to both of those events.

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