Mitchell Johnson reveals playing under Michael Clarke was a pretty bad experience
Former Australian cricketers Mitchell Johnson and Michael Clarke have been making some shocking revelations over the last few weeks following the release of their autobiographies. While former skipper Michael Clarke raised quite a few eyebrows when he mentioned the side that he led consisted of some players whose behaviour was like a tumor, Johnson claimed that none of the members enjoyed playing under Clarke.
The left-arm bowler, while talking to a local news channel on Friday, claimed that playing under Clarke's captaincy was a pretty bad experience for him. He added that there was a 'toxic' atmosphere in the dressing room during Clarke's leadership.
Johnson also claimed that some players did not want to play for Australia under Clarke, who retired from the international circuit after losing the Ashes Test series against England last year. The left-armer said that the Australian team became fractured after Clarke took over the captaincy mantle from Ricky Ponting in 2012. Fox Sports news quoted Johnson as saying, "The dynamics definitely changed."
He further went on to add, "It wasn't a team. There were different little factions going on and it was very toxic. It just built very slowly but everyone could see it, everyone could feel it and nothing was being done at that time. "
He went on to claim that none of the Australian players enjoyed playing under Clarke and were all under some sort of pressure. "So it wasn't a very enjoyable place to be and you're supposed to be enjoying yourself when you're playing for your country. It was a pretty bad experience, bad time, a couple of us didn't want to play.”
The 34-year-old said that the youngsters coming into the team could sense the 'toxic' atmosphere and weren't too happy with Clarke. He said, "Even some of the young guys coming through could see it a mile away and they didn't enjoy it, they claimed state cricket to be a lot more fun."
Johnson was one of the four players who were banned amid the homework-gate saga during Australia's tour of India in 2013. The former Australian bowler said that his relationship with Clarke became patchy right after that incident. "I didn't take it too well," he said. "I guess the relationship was pretty strained at that point of time within the team – I definitely felt like an outsider.”