Mitchell Johnson ruled out of 4th Test with hamstring injury
Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson is out of the squad for the 4th Test match against India after not being able to fully recover from a hamstring soreness. With a little more than a month to go for the World Cup, and the series already having been won, the Australian management have understandably rested their most experienced fast bowler.
Johnson has bowled 122.2 overs in the current series, and has been given some time to recover full fitness before the ODI tri-series also involving England.
"Mitchell had some right hamstring soreness during the Boxing Day Test and we have been closely monitoring his recovery since that match but feel he has not fully recovered." the Cricket Australia physiotherapist, Alex Kountouris, said.
"As such, he will not play in the upcoming Sydney Test match. We expect him to recover in time to play a part in the upcoming tri-series against England and India.”
Coach Darren Lehmann added: "Mitchell is an important part of our plans for the remainder of our summer and we want him 100% right so won't be taking any risks with him. We believe it is best for Mitchell to take this opportunity to freshen up and get his body fully fit ahead of the tri-series."
Replacements for Johnson
Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle are the two leading candidates to replace Johnson in the team, with both bowlers looking to impress before the World Cup squads are announced. While Siddle had an unremarkable outing in the Adelaide Test, Starc has failed to find his way into the Test team despite being one of the better bowlers in the shorter formats.
Starc said, “It all comes down to playing more red ball cricket and stringing a few games together, which results in performing well too.
“Whatever form of cricket I play, the aim is to keep taking wickets and preparing the best I can."
Unfortunately for the neutral however, the boiling on-field rivalry between Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli will not be seen in action at the SCG from January 6.