Mitchell Johnson: A name with high-intensity impact who made curators scramble for softer wickets acorss the world to reduce his hostility!
Johnson has retired from international cricket, and honestly, the world â€” especially the Australians â€” will miss him the most. The Queenslander retired as one of the finest fast bowlers Australia has ever produced.
Johnson was the 12th man during the 2006-2007 Ashes series when Australia completed their second series sweep against England.
Who could have thought man who carried water bottles for his teammates back in 2006 would end up demolishing England almost single-handedly during the third Ashes series sweep in 2013-14 Down Under!
Whenever Johnson was offered a deck of his liking, he would end up crushing opponents with brutal force. His hit-the-deck bowling style did not have much of an effect on English soil or in the Indian subcontinent, but none could produce such ruhtless bouncers like Johnson used to.
Johnson had welcomed Virat Kohli with a bouncer at the crease during the first Test match when India were touring Australia. The ball had enough venom in it to strike Kohli's helmet. Kohli was dazed for some time, before gearing himself up to face the brute force of Johnson.
The memories of Philip Hughes did not fade away, and that had affected him way too much. He was amongst the ones who shed tears at the funeral of Hughes and sported a look on his face that he did not want to be a fast bowler anymore.
The speedster touched 150 kmph with ease at a point of time. The speed started to dip after Hughes' demise. He did not have that tearaway pace batsmen across the world once feared. He turned out to be the most expensive Australian bowler in terms of runs conceded. Johnson conceded 157 runs and got just a solitary wicket. From the lows in 2009 to the pinnacle in 2013, Johnson has been through it all, and most importantly, he won his own battles.
One can never ever imagine that this Queenslander used to drive a van for a living after his contract was terminated. He was subsequently spotted by Australian fast-bowling legend Dennis Lillee at the raw age of 17 and rated him highly then!
With 313 wickets under his belt at an average of 28.20 in the longest format of the game, he rose as the fourth-highest wicket-taker for Australia behind Lillee, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Johnson also has 239 scalps in the 50-over format at an average of 25. The numbers might remain constant from now, but his tearaway pace, brute force, venomous bouncers â€” cricket and its fans will miss it all.
If you are reading this, Mitchell Johnson, cricket will never get to see those garnished bouncers ever again. We will miss you!