Australian coach Darren Lehmann has admitted that skipper Steve Smith and he failed to persuade veteran pacer Mitchell Johnson to delay his retirement. Johnson retired after the Perth test against New Zealand and had cited lack of time with his family as a reason for calling it quits.
A major reason behind persuading Johnson was that Lehmann was not too confident about Australia’s raw and inexperienced pacers.
The absence of Johnson in the ranks also meant that there was no one to mentor and guide the upcoming quicks. Had Johnson been around, there would have been far lesser burden on the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
Lehmann in a recent media interaction admitted that he failed to convince Johnson against retiring. “His mind was made up as soon as he spoke to Steven and myself,” Lehmann was quoted saying.
“He’d been thinking about it for a while, been talking about it in the media. We spoke to him about maybe playing the one-dayers, we think that was a really good option for us to have that experience there. But he’s not into it.
He’s not into the training anymore. He’s had enough and he just wants to sit at home and watch us play,” Lehmann said.
Johnson’s retirement has meant that avenues in limited overs have opened up for the likes of Joel Paris and Scott Boland. The two pacers recently made their debuts against India in the first ODI at Perth.
In test matches, there has been a lot of competition for the spot vacated by Johnson. The likes of James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Pat Cummins battle it out for the coveted spot.