Mitchell Johnson’s retirement will definitely be a massive hurdle for Steve Smith’s Australian team. Johnson was the senior most member of the squad, and he often mentored the young budding pacers.
After the second test at the WACA, skipper Steve Smith addressed that Johnson was a complete professional, and his absence would be felt by the Australians.
“He wasn’t too bad, I think he’d been thinking about it quite a lot,” Smith said. “He pulled Darren and myself aside and told us, and then addressed the boys. I think it was nice just to get it off his chest. Hopefully he can come out later on today and see what he can produce.”
Admitting that Johnson’s decision to retire was a little surprising, Smith said, “It came as a bit of a surprise. He obviously feels it’s the right time. He’s the last of the 300 club, the 300 baggy green numbers. We’re into the 400s now in our team. He was a terrific athlete, the ultimate professional and an amazing fast bowler. I think he changed the way Australian cricket was played. To be the fourth-leading wicket for Australia for all time in Test cricket, it’s a pretty amazing record. He’s the ultimate professional, he works so hard on his game,” Smith said.
“When he got the ball swinging like that at 150kph he was an absolute nightmare to face. I’m certainly not going to miss facing him in the nets. He gave me a few bouncers in there that I’ll always remember. He’s just a great performer for Australia and he deserves all the accolades he receives.”
Smith also said that it would have been ideal had Johnson played for a little longer. “It would have been nice to have him a little bit longer but I think you know the right time to retire. He feels that right now. He’s been a great athlete and a true ambassador of the game for Australian cricket and he’s going to be missed.”