"I just had no interest in cricket at all" - Mitchell Johnson opens up on his 2011 phase

Australia v England - Fifth Test: Day 3
Mitchell Johnson. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson revealed going through a phase in 2011 where he didn't want to play the sport. The Queenslander, the highest wicket-taker in the 2013-14 Ashes series, acknowledged that he was unsure how it would transpire for him.

Johnson terrorized the English batters with his sheer pace and short-pitched deliveries to finish with 37 scalps in five Tests in the 2013-14 series. The left-arm speedster's efforts scripted a crushing 5-0 win for the hosts, thus regaining the urn.

Speaking to the BBC, Johnson recalled how he felt upset and relieved at the exclusion from the 2013 Ashes squad due to nervousness. He said:

"I wasn't sure if I was gonna play again. I just had no interest in cricket at all and I didn't miss it. Before the 2013-14 Ashes series was pretty nerve racking to be honest. I was really unsure of how I was going to go. I'd missed out on selection for the [2013] Ashes series in England. At first I was a little bit upset, but I was also relieved at the same time because I was really nervous about getting back into Test cricket."

While the 41-year-old performed well in the Perth Test of the 2010-11 Ashes series, he was below par in the remaining games. The veteran went wicketless in the first Test in Brisbane and managed only four scalps in the final two matches.

Johnson also missed the entire 2011 home summer as he underwent surgery to deal with a foot injury.

Mitchell Johnson reveals mental and physical exhaustion after 2013-14 Ashes series

Mitchell Johnson. (Image Credits: Getty)
Mitchell Johnson. (Image Credits: Getty)

Mitchell Johnson, who wrecked England's batting unit with Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris, added:

"After the 2013-14 series, as we came off the field in Sydney after the last Test, I just remember saying to the fast bowlers - Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris - 'I'm absolutely exhausted, physically and mentally'. And they said, 'we're absolutely cooked as well'".

The 73-Test veteran underlined that the build-up to the Ashes series is full of pressure as the players carry the expectations of the country. He stated:

"I think the mental side comes from the build-up to an Ashes series, the weight of the country behind you. You're just in that bubble for that period of time when you're playing that series. And you're just so focused on that one. One goal - that's winning."

As for the 2023 Ashes series, Australia took a 1-0 lead with a thrilling win in the first Test at Edgbaston.

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Edited by Anirudh
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