County news April 2, 2012

Durham snap up Mitchell Johnson

29

Durham have signed Mitchell Johnson, the Australia fast bowler, as their second overseas player for the 2012 Friends Life t20 competition.

Johnson's international T20 record is not the best - he concedes his runs at over seven an over and averages only 10.09 with the bat. But he has played all but three games of his T20 career at international level and will be eager to prove a point with Durham ahead of the World T20 in September. Herschelle Gibbs, the South Africa batsman, is Durham's other overseas player for T20.

Johnson, 30, was named ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2009 and has appeared in 47 Tests, 107 ODIs and 28 T20 internationals. A combination of injury issues and lost form have seen him lose favour in the Australian set-up, however, and he has fallen some way down the pecking order as a new generation of Australian fast bowlers has emerged.

But it is less than 18-months since he bowled out England to help Australia win the Perth Test while, as a batsman, he has proved good enough to score a Test century and two ODI half-centuries.

"I've heard brilliant things about Durham from Paul Collingwood when he played over in Perth and I'm really excited about joining up with the squad," Johnson said. "Delivering match-winning contributions is important to me and that's not just with a focus on my bowling: all-round performances in T20 are really important and I want to leave at the end of July having secured our place at finals day."

Durham's chief executive, David Harker, added, "Mitchell is an excellent addition to our squad and he will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. One of our ambitions for 2012 is to get to t20 finals day and we have made the investment to bring in players that we feel will enhance our already talented squad to help us achieve that. It'll be great for us to welcome Mitchell to the set up."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fifthman on April 4, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    This season will be the final nail in the coffin of Mitchell 'Spraygun' Johnson. The only carving he'll be doing is on a joint of tough old 'roo...

  • Partyman on April 3, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    As a Glamorgan supporter, relieved he has not signed for us! For once I am sad that, Glamorgan is not part of the Northern landscape... Imagine all the rich pickings off this bloke. Not one for predictions, but I can safely predict Durham ain't going to be T20 champions this year.

  • jonesy2 on April 3, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    will absolutely carve up the competition.

  • zenboomerang on April 3, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    While everyone has forgotten Johnson this summer, I have been talking up his usefullness to the Oz team in ODI's & T20's - Tri-nations & WI tour... Along with Bollinger they have been a great duo... When we look at the performances of Hilfy, Rhino, Pattinson in the short games we can see their lack of penetration that Johnson often gets through his own "natural" waywardness, making him an unpredictable bowler to face... For all his faults, he is still a good bowler & his last batting in SA resulted in a 38n.o. & 40n.o. - ensuring that Oz won that Test & drew the series... PS: the Perth Ashes Test is always brought up as Johnsons bright light but Rhino also got 9 wkts in that Test...

  • bobagorof on April 3, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    I've already said a lot about Johnson while he was in the Australian team, so I won't beat a dead horse. But I will wish him well. He has shown in the past that he can be a destructive bowler, and credit to him if he can return to the days when he had more consistency and was able to swing the ball.

  • Buggsy on April 3, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Ugh, I thought we'd heard the last of Johnson. Good to see he's someone else's problem though.

  • dsig3 on April 3, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    Hope he does well. He is a terribly nice person who cops flak because he is wildly inconsistent. Make no mistake, when the stars align and its flowing for MJ he will win games all by himself. He has done this a number of times for us, its the other games that make it so hard for him to keep a test spot. Similar to Harmison I think, at his best the opposition simply dont stand a chance.

  • Meety on April 3, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    @katandthat3 - I definately hope he is in the squad for the T20 W/Cup. I don't like agreeing with jonesy2 too often, but I actually think he'd be a useful pinchhitting opening batsmen in T20s.

  • Chris_P on April 2, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Have to disagree, Wombats. A brilliant player on his day, just that his days are way too spaced apart AND getting further apart every season! He won't be back in the baggy green, not now nor in the near future. He has way too many consistently better bowlers ahead of him. Not only isn't he needed, but he just doesn't fit in anywhere with current depth of quicks around. Good luck to him on his stint with Durham though.

  • katandthat3 on April 2, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Not a bad idea for Mitch to get more exposure to UK conditions especially with a 2013 Ashes coming up, however he is well down the pecking order for that tour and an outside chance. I would love to see him back in the ODI Aussie side as well pointed out by @Meety his record is excellent and we could do with him, the World Cup is a more realistic chance for MJ. Hoping they televise the UK T20 over in Australia again.

  • Fifthman on April 4, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    This season will be the final nail in the coffin of Mitchell 'Spraygun' Johnson. The only carving he'll be doing is on a joint of tough old 'roo...

  • Partyman on April 3, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    As a Glamorgan supporter, relieved he has not signed for us! For once I am sad that, Glamorgan is not part of the Northern landscape... Imagine all the rich pickings off this bloke. Not one for predictions, but I can safely predict Durham ain't going to be T20 champions this year.

  • jonesy2 on April 3, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    will absolutely carve up the competition.

  • zenboomerang on April 3, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    While everyone has forgotten Johnson this summer, I have been talking up his usefullness to the Oz team in ODI's & T20's - Tri-nations & WI tour... Along with Bollinger they have been a great duo... When we look at the performances of Hilfy, Rhino, Pattinson in the short games we can see their lack of penetration that Johnson often gets through his own "natural" waywardness, making him an unpredictable bowler to face... For all his faults, he is still a good bowler & his last batting in SA resulted in a 38n.o. & 40n.o. - ensuring that Oz won that Test & drew the series... PS: the Perth Ashes Test is always brought up as Johnsons bright light but Rhino also got 9 wkts in that Test...

  • bobagorof on April 3, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    I've already said a lot about Johnson while he was in the Australian team, so I won't beat a dead horse. But I will wish him well. He has shown in the past that he can be a destructive bowler, and credit to him if he can return to the days when he had more consistency and was able to swing the ball.

  • Buggsy on April 3, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Ugh, I thought we'd heard the last of Johnson. Good to see he's someone else's problem though.

  • dsig3 on April 3, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    Hope he does well. He is a terribly nice person who cops flak because he is wildly inconsistent. Make no mistake, when the stars align and its flowing for MJ he will win games all by himself. He has done this a number of times for us, its the other games that make it so hard for him to keep a test spot. Similar to Harmison I think, at his best the opposition simply dont stand a chance.

  • Meety on April 3, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    @katandthat3 - I definately hope he is in the squad for the T20 W/Cup. I don't like agreeing with jonesy2 too often, but I actually think he'd be a useful pinchhitting opening batsmen in T20s.

  • Chris_P on April 2, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Have to disagree, Wombats. A brilliant player on his day, just that his days are way too spaced apart AND getting further apart every season! He won't be back in the baggy green, not now nor in the near future. He has way too many consistently better bowlers ahead of him. Not only isn't he needed, but he just doesn't fit in anywhere with current depth of quicks around. Good luck to him on his stint with Durham though.

  • katandthat3 on April 2, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Not a bad idea for Mitch to get more exposure to UK conditions especially with a 2013 Ashes coming up, however he is well down the pecking order for that tour and an outside chance. I would love to see him back in the ODI Aussie side as well pointed out by @Meety his record is excellent and we could do with him, the World Cup is a more realistic chance for MJ. Hoping they televise the UK T20 over in Australia again.

  • yorkshirematt on April 2, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Should at least improve the attendances, with fans coming just to give him an earful

  • RandyOZ on April 2, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    He will clean up in the weak county system. Phil Hughes and MJ might make their way back into the Aussie teams after cleaning up these Saffers and Poms!

  • Jimmy_Jim on April 2, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Agreed with Meety, Johnson's been a great limited overs bowler, useful batsman and very good fields man. Was extremely surprised when he was dropped from our T20I squad, since he left our T20I attack and ODI attack has looked quite incompetent. Good luck to him in Durham, get him to play some FC as well!

  • 5wombats on April 2, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Doubt he'll get a game. Means he might learn to bowl though. A very ordinary player.

  • Sutiro on April 2, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    How quickly we forget! It was only last November I think that Mitch was the number 1 strike bowler for Australila in South Africa where he incidentally won the last test with a great, unbeaten innings to achieve a brilliant run chase and save Michael Clarke from an embarrassing series defeat. He should be back in the Australian side soon.

  • Somerset-Richard on April 2, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    I feel cheated that we, at Somerset, are not going to get served up the easy runs that will inevitably flow when Super Mitch serves up four overs of dross! I wish Durham were in our group!

  • Hammond on April 2, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Why lump this salvage with Durham? I think he should go and play sub-district cricket in Sydney , they might have him. Most overrated "strike" bowler in the history of the game.

  • jmey97 on April 2, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    ...cause johnson is past his time

  • WilliamFranklin on April 2, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    "He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right..."

  • jasif on April 2, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    couldn't have been a worse signing. rubbish signing.

  • godimbored on April 2, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Hahahahahaha - Two Harmisons in one side - how can Durham fail? And once again jonesy gets the Dame Edna Everage award for his consistent contributions to entirely unintentional humour...

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 2, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Smashing. Perhaps Mitchell Johnson and Steve Harmison will share the new ball. I hope Phil Mustard is ready for some exercise ...

  • jonesy2 on April 2, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    huge for durham. massive. he should open the batting and bowling for them to give a chance to win games by himself basically. he is one of few players worldwide that can do that.

  • satish619chandar on April 2, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Yes HE is a sprayer.. But any sprayer has equal chance to bowl good deliveries too in midst of spray and if he can get wicket of his good ones, he can be good for the team.. BTW, Mitchell was always good in shorter formats..

  • Meety on April 2, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Bit surprised with the tone of this article, MJ is a very good short form bowler, he possess a reasonably good career S/Rate. An economy of 7 rpo equates to a full innings score of 140, which is very gettable. His batting ave is more a product of limited opportunities, he is a very good pinch hitter.

  • ahilcool on April 2, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    if pak choose the right people than pak could wiin almost every match my T20 line up for pak Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Awais Zia , Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shaid Afradi, Rana Naved Ul Hassan, Abdul Razaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal. THERE ARE 9 PROVESSIANAL BATSMEN AND GUL AND AJMAL CAN BAT TOO. THERE ARE 7 PROVESNIAL BOWLERS AND NAZIR CAN BOWL TOO.

  • smudgeon on April 2, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    good luck to Mitch with Durham. his test form was woeful, but before his foot injury he was in very good limited overs form. i expect he'll push the current lot if he comes back well from his injury. of course, with Mitch, it's always going to be a big "if"!

  • jmey97 on April 2, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    as an aussie i must say, major fail durham

  • ahilcool on April 2, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    seriously michell jhonsan is a god bowler and batsmen on his day

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  • ahilcool on April 2, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    seriously michell jhonsan is a god bowler and batsmen on his day

  • jmey97 on April 2, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    as an aussie i must say, major fail durham

  • smudgeon on April 2, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    good luck to Mitch with Durham. his test form was woeful, but before his foot injury he was in very good limited overs form. i expect he'll push the current lot if he comes back well from his injury. of course, with Mitch, it's always going to be a big "if"!

  • ahilcool on April 2, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    if pak choose the right people than pak could wiin almost every match my T20 line up for pak Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Awais Zia , Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shaid Afradi, Rana Naved Ul Hassan, Abdul Razaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal. THERE ARE 9 PROVESSIANAL BATSMEN AND GUL AND AJMAL CAN BAT TOO. THERE ARE 7 PROVESNIAL BOWLERS AND NAZIR CAN BOWL TOO.

  • Meety on April 2, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Bit surprised with the tone of this article, MJ is a very good short form bowler, he possess a reasonably good career S/Rate. An economy of 7 rpo equates to a full innings score of 140, which is very gettable. His batting ave is more a product of limited opportunities, he is a very good pinch hitter.

  • satish619chandar on April 2, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Yes HE is a sprayer.. But any sprayer has equal chance to bowl good deliveries too in midst of spray and if he can get wicket of his good ones, he can be good for the team.. BTW, Mitchell was always good in shorter formats..

  • jonesy2 on April 2, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    huge for durham. massive. he should open the batting and bowling for them to give a chance to win games by himself basically. he is one of few players worldwide that can do that.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 2, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Smashing. Perhaps Mitchell Johnson and Steve Harmison will share the new ball. I hope Phil Mustard is ready for some exercise ...

  • godimbored on April 2, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Hahahahahaha - Two Harmisons in one side - how can Durham fail? And once again jonesy gets the Dame Edna Everage award for his consistent contributions to entirely unintentional humour...

  • jasif on April 2, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    couldn't have been a worse signing. rubbish signing.