Mitchell Johnson wants Glenn Maxwell to captain Australia in 2019 World Cup
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Interestingly, Johnson has picked Usman Khawaja to be the vice-captain of the side despite having both David Warner and Steve Smith in the team.
Australia have suffered after Smith and Warner were handed one-year bans following their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Aaron Finch has taken over as the captain of the limited-overs squad while Tim Paine has taken the leadership role for the Test matches.
The Australian team has not been able to cope up with the absence of its coveted duo and there has been a lot of discussions regarding the captaincy choices as well as their squad going into the World Cup.
Johnson has picked Maxwell in what is a surprise captaincy choice for the upcoming World Cup. The left-arm pacer believes relieving Finch of captaincy would take the pressure off the opening batsman. It would also give Maxwell a chance to lead the team, and he believes that the all-rounder could excel in the role.
Johnson is also of the opinion that Maxwell is a misunderstood cricketer. Having played with him in the Australian team and the IPL, he feels that captaincy would help the hard-hitter mature as a cricketer.
In a column for Perth Now, Johnson wrote, "I think we need our sportsmen to have a certain presence and have the confidence to give their opinion in a team environment and he definitely does that. I spent a lot of time with Maxwell in the IPL at both Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab and he was always very vocal in team meetings".
He added, "In the national team, he wasn’t openly vocal but would still speak up every now and again. The IPL was where he played a significant tactical role, particularly with planning, such as fielding positions for certain players. He knows opposition players very well and he doesn’t forget much. Even in game situations, he would sometimes have a quiet word to the captain and suggest a different way we could go about things. He reads the game well and that’s essential for a captain."
Mitchell Johnson's World Cup Squad: Glenn Maxwell (c), Usman Khawaja (vc), Aaron Finch, David Warner, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, AJ Tye and Adam Zampa
Australia will now take on Sri Lanka in a two-Test series, starting at Brisbane from the 24th. They will then visit India for two T20Is and five ODIs during February-March.