Adieu Mitch: A tribute to Mitchell Johnson as the left-armed Queenslander retires
313 wickets from 73 Tests; 239 wickets from 153 ODIs; 123 wickets from 112 T20s with the economy of 7.63 – These numbers speak for themselves. Mitchell Guy Johnson, the former Australian cricketer, is the proud owner of these numbers.
In the history of cricket, only a handful of bowlers were consistent in all the three formats of the game. Johnson is one among them. As evident by the above numbers, he had a decent amount of success in all the three forms of the game. Besides, he will go down as one of the best left-arm bowlers to play the beautiful game.
In every era, there will always be one particular player who will stand out from the rest. Johnson is that player in the modern area. None can match the impact that Johnson has made in the modern era.
The way in which he single-handedly tormented the England lineup during the 2013-14 Ashes will forever remain in the minds of avid cricket lovers. His numbers in that series included 37 wickets, 165 runs with a single half-century, 3 Man of the Match awards, and a Man of the Series award.
More than the on-field actions, the aftermath and the incidents in between the series donned the headlines. After the first Test, Jonathan Trott pulled out of the rest of the series citing stress-related illness.
Graeme Swann announced a shocking retirement at the end of the third game. Kevin Pietersen was made the ‘scapegoat’ for England’s disastrous campaign. Later, Pietersen admitted that the several English batsmen were scared of Johnsons’ hostile fast bowling.
He was wayward at times. Especially during the 2010-11 Ashes, his indiscipline bowling paved the way for Barmy Army to create this chant - “He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, that Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is sh*te.”
The Queensland-born bowler left his home state and played for Western Australia in the later stages of his career. He went on to represent Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League. Besides, he had a very successful stint with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. Johnson played a pivotal role in their title-winning 2013 and 2017 campaigns.
On August 19, 2018, Johnson announced his retirement from all the forms of the game.
"It is over. I've bowled my final ball. Taken my final wicket. Today I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket" - Mitchell Johnson
Though Johnson had left many memories, his famous moustache along with that ‘stare’ will always remain my personal (probably, for most fans) moment.
Adieu, Mitch. Thanks for all the memories.