Australia’s premium fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has been ruled out of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh following an infected toe that he sustained in the third Test against South Africa at Newlands. Doug Bollinger has been named as Johnson’s replacement in the tournament.
Johnson was earlier rested from the T20s in South Africa that followed the Test series. He flew to Perth and subsequently was suffering from an infection in the toe. He was receiving treatment from Cricket Australia’s medical officer Justin Paolini. Paolini stated Johnson could arrive for the tournament lately, but since the infection seemed to be severe it takes more time to heal.
“Mitchell had a cut on his right big toe after the 3rd Test against South Africa which became infectedwhen he returned home to Australia after the series,” Cricket Australia’s chief medical officer, Dr Justin Paoloni said. “We have given Mitchell as long as we can but unfortunately his infection hasn’t responded to the treatment as quickly as we had hoped with swelling remaining in his toe and foot.
“It is difficult to say how quickly the infection will take to resolve and due to the high risk of infection recurrence with a return to bowling we feel it is in the best interests of Mitchell’s health for him to continue to receive intensive treatment in Perth.”
Johnson’s absence could be a blow to Australia as he has been the lead pacer for them since the successful Ashes series at home. He also performed reasonably well in India when Australia toured in the month of October last year.
Since October 2011, Bollinger has not represented for Australia. Though he was part of the Ashes squad against England at home, he didn’t even play a single Test match as the selectors decided to go with an unchanged XI.
“This is disappointing news as it was anticipated that Mitch would have a significant impact with his pace and menace,” the national selector John Inverarity said about Johnson’s recovery. “Doug Bollinger has been called into the squad to replace Mitchell. Doug has had significant experience in the sub-continent and in international white ball cricket and his ability to bowl with good pace was a factor in his selection.”
The selectors chose Bollinger because he has the experience of playing on slow tracks. He could be handy in death overs as he has the ability to vary the pace constantly. Though his average in BBL was not good 44.66, the selectors felt he’s the ideal man to replace Johnson since he’s also left-arm seamer.Published 16 Mar 2014, 15:09 IST