Mumbai: Mitchell Johnson of Mumbai Indians during a press conference in Mumbai on May 3, 2017. (Photo: IANS)
Mumbai: Mitchell Johnson of Mumbai Indians during a press conference in Mumbai on May 3, 2017. (Photo: IANS)

Mitchell Johnson, the former Australian pacer has backed Virat Kohli and said it is good for Team India that the 33-year-old is back among the runs.

Recently, Virat Kohli ended his 1,020-day drought without scoring a century by smashing his 71st international hundred against Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022.

Virat Kohli // Getty
Virat Kohli // Getty

Mitchell Johnson: Indian Team Will Be Happy That Virat Kohli Is Scoring Runs

Virat Kohli finished as the second-highest scorer in the Asia Cup 2022 tournament with 276 runs at an impressive strike rate of 147.59. Virat Kohli showed heavy glimpses of his prime self during the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022, in which he also hit his much-anticipated 71st international century. He hit 276 runs in the tournament at an average of 92.00.

One century and two well-made fifties came out of Virat Kohli’s willow, with his best score being 122* against Afghanistan.  Virat Kohli finished as the second-highest run-getter in the tournament behind Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan (281).

“It is good for India when their best players can make runs and keep the side confident. He is that player who changed the focus of the team when he took on the captaincy. The team will be happy that he is scoring runs,” Mitchell Johnson said.

File photo of Mitchell Johnson© AFP
File photo of Mitchell Johnson© AFP

The Australian team is currently in Mohali, getting ready to face off with India in the first game of the three-match T20I series.

“They have to be looking at winning the series in tough conditions. This will give them confidence heading into the World Cup. They should have a solid and settled team going into it. It will be a great series,” Mitchell Johnson added.

India will face Australia in the first of the three T20Is in Mohali on September 20, before playing them in Nagpur on September 23 and finishing the series off in Hyderabad on September 25.

While Mohammed Shami’s return to T20I has been delayed after being tested positive for Covid-19, Umesh Yadav is set to be back in white-ball cricket for India after three and half years. Umesh Yadav has been undergoing rehab at NCA after suffering a quad injury while playing county cricket in England.

He has been deemed fit and the selectors have opted to try him out in the three-match T20I series against Australia starting next week. Umesh Yadav had last played a T20I for India against Australia in February 2019. His last ODI was in 2018.

Apart from rested David Warner, Australia will also be without Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh, who are out with knee and ankle injuries respectively.

Mitchell Johnson Thinks India Will Put Behind Asia Cup 2022 Performance While Playing 2022 T20I World Cup

Speaking about India’s chances at the upcoming ICC Men’s T20I World Cup 2022, Mitchell Johnson said that anything can happen in a World Cup event.

“When it comes to the World Cup, you just enjoy the moment. You need to focus. They are all big teams. Indians are used to playing big games because of the IPL, playing in front of large crowds with a lot of pressure. I think all that stuff (Asia Cup performance) will be behind them,” Mitchell Johnson said.

Mitchell Johnson, Indian Cricket Team
Mitchell Johnson, Indian Cricket Team. (Photo: Twitter)

The ICC Men’s 2022 T20I World Cup is set to commence on October 16 and will go on till November 13.

India Squad For Australia T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.

Australia Squad For India T20Is: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.