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Felt sick after a bouncer hit Virat Kohli's helmet during 2014 Adelaide Test, says Mitchell Johnson

Shyam Sunder
46.88K   //    25 Oct 2016, 11:51 IST
Mitchell Johnson Virat Kohli
Johnson celebrates the fall of Kohli’s wicket during an earlier Test match

A number of former international cricketers have gone on to make some startling revelations regarding their career in their autobiographies lately. The newest member of the club seems to be Mitchell Johnson, who released his autobiography- ‘Resilient’, on Monday. The left-armer, in his book, claimed that he felt upset after delivering a bouncer to Virat Kohli that hit him on his helmet during the first Test against India at Adelaide in 2014.

The former Australian bowler has described a number of interesting facts regarding his career. However, the bowler has described the death of Phil Hughes as one of the most horrible incidents of his life. He has stated that he started looking at cricket from a different angle after the death of his beloved friend. He wrote, "I think I was in as good a place with my cricket as I had ever been, but my love of the game was put into perspective before the start of the 2014–15 season.

"Not many people loved cricket as much as Phillip Hughes did. When he died – two days after being struck in the neck by a ball – it was hard to love it or play it the same way I had when he was alive. That horrible tragedy changed so many things.” 

Also read: Shane Watson stuck my head in the toilet: Mitchell Johnson

Johnson stated that he felt awful for Hughes’ family after Phil's death and the impact that the incident had on the players was indescribable. "I wrestled with the fact that it could have been me. I wasn’t scared of being hurt; I was terrified that it could have been me that hurt him." Johnson went to claim that he was never the same bowler after Hughes's death. He found it hard to look at Phil's picture that was put up in the dressing room ahead of the first Test against India in December 2014 at Adelaide.

Describing one of the terrible incidents he wrote, "It was my job to intimidate batsmen. To bowl short and fast. To make them play from the fear of being hit by the ball. I questioned all of that. And when I did bowl a bouncer and hit Virat Kohli on the helmet in Adelaide during the first Test match after Hughesy’s death, I felt sick. I couldn’t drop short with any conviction for a long time after that."

Also read: Brendon McCullum opens up about Ross Taylor's 'uninspiring leadership' in his autobiography

Johnson mentioned that after the death of his friend, he struggled with guilt because he used to pepper Hughes in the nets. He recalls that at one instance he took out all his frustrations on Hughes in the nets. "I had no idea the consequences could be fatal – that never crossed my mind or anyone’s and the memory of that session filled me with dread.”

Johnson stated that cricket lost a bit of its soul after Hughes' death and felt that it wasn't a coincidence that few cricketers of the then Australian squad left the game gradually. He went on to say that the team had come to a low point after the death of Hughes and all of a sudden everything felt hollow.

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Shyam Sunder
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