Mitchell Johnson reveals that he almost joined the Army as a teenager
Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson’s days of terrorising the opposition with his steamy bouncers might be behind him but he is still in the news with his biography titled ‘Resilient’ set to hit the stands soon. Anecdotes from his upcoming book have already created a buzz with the left-arm fast bowler joining his former skipper Michael Clarke in opening up the can of worms with shocking tales of Australia’s troubled dressing room during Clarke’s captaincy.
Johnson has never been one to shy away from a challenge and the way he bounced back in the 2013 Ashes series against England single-handedly decimating the opposition picking up 37 wickets in five Tests is enough proof of that. Having started off his career as a clean-shaven mild-mannered cricketer, Johnson turned up the aggressive front later on with his peculiar moustache turning out to be an integral part of his appearance.
Apart from his moustache, the ruthless stare that used to sent shivers down the throat of the opposition batsmen when he was at his best, became a trademark of Johnson and the 34-year-old revealed that he could have done a lot more with his aggression as he could have not even ended up being a cricketer if he had given into his ambition as a youngster to join the Australian army.
Johnson's interest in tennis growing up a youngster is pretty well known with him idolising American legend Pete Sampras, but it could well have been a different career altogether for Johnson. Having grown up in Townsville, a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland which is home to Lavarack Barracks which fields the largest Australian Army base, Johnson always had an inherent interest to follow so many other youngsters in his neighbourhood and join the army.
Though the interest was there, Johnson was hooked up too much into sports, initially, tennis and later cricket, to really make any attempt at fulfilling his ambition of joining the army.
"Like all boys, I was fascinated with guns and tanks," Johnson said. "I was interested in the military life but I hadn't done anything about it."
The army’s loss turned out to be cricket’s gain as Johnson ended up as one of Australia’s greatest ever fast bowlers and his incredible feat in the 2013 Ashes series will always be remembered as one of the greatest episodes in the long and intense rivalry between Australia and England.