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April 15, 2014
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.
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