Mitchell Johnson might have bid adieu to international cricket last year, but the fearsome left arm pacer is back to represent his IPL franchise – Kings XI Punjab. Johnson, who made himself available for this year’s IPL has maintained his fitness and promises to be a thrilling package once his side takes on the Gujarat Lions in Mohali.
Johnson had an ordinary season in the previous IPL where his pace dropped down in the latter stages and he failed to get among the wickets. The Western Australia pacer was also released early by his franchise last year. However, this time around, Johnson is excited to unleash the beast within him and is completely pumped up.
In his column, Johnson admitted that he was “pumped up” for the IPL. “I’m genuinely pumped to get back onto the field, and even training with my teammates this week gave me a rush I haven’t felt in a while,” Johnson mentioned. “The good sign for me is I’m incredibly excited for the IPL to get underway now. That’s certainly not how I was feeling this time last year when I was really flat and physically exhausted after a long summer that included a World Cup,” he added, justifying his below par outing in the previous season.
The Australian pacer also added that the IPL was not just about money, but rather, the players put their heart into the game. “A lot of people think the IPL is all about money but I can guarantee you it isn’t,” he pointed out. “I would find it really hard to be motivated if I was just playing for money – you have to actually have your heart in it. I know I do, and I can’t wait to pull on that Kings XI uniform again,” wrote Johnson.
Johnson’s Kings XI skipper David Miller too reiterated the fact that Johnson was quite thrilled to represent his franchise. The South African said that Johnson had been on fire in the warm up sessions. “The fire is definitely there and the pace is up there as well,” Miller said. “I don’t see why he’s not going to do well. “He’s bowling really quickly. He’s looking refreshed, strong as well – he’s been training really well the last couple of weeks. “He’s swinging the ball as well. In the nets there’s a couple of swollen toes,” said Miller.