Mitchell Johnson has backed Tim Paine to continue as Australia's captain, and believes that calls for him to be dropped are "ridiculous." Paine's future has been the topic of hot debate over the past 24 hours after Australia lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by a 2-1 margin.
Despite winning the first Test of the four-match series, Tim Paine's side failed to register another victory as an injury-ravaged Indian team scripted a memorable series triumph Down Under.
"It’s ridiculous. The comments that come out about that stuff is just nit-picking, and we’re seeing a lot of that these days," Mitchell Johnson said while appearing on The Fast and the Curious Podcast.
Tim Paine took charge of the Australian Test team following the 2018 sandpaper scandal in South Africa. He has since led his country to 11 wins, four draws and eight defeats. The 36-year-old helped Australia retain the Ashes in 2019, but the recently-concluded series against India has certainly lowered his stock. With the Ashes coming up later this year, the Aussies will look to ensure that they do not suffer another series defeat to a cricketing rival.
Players could deny media access: Mitchell Johnson after Tim Paine came in for criticism
Cricket legends such as Michael Vaughan, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne have also criticized Tim Paine over the last few days. They were especially critical of the Australian skipper's sledging and on-field behaviour in the third Test. But Mitchell Johnson has warned that such over the top criticism could result in players denying media access.
“It’s a sport and there’s competitiveness, we’ve got to understand there’s a thousand cameras on these players, there’s stump mics that are turned up. If we don’t want to see or hear that stuff then take away the cameras, so we only have a couple cameras, take the stump mics out and you won’t hear anything. Simple.”
Tim Paine is expected to lead Australia in the upcoming tour of South Africa. But with no other Test series scheduled up until the Ashes (except perhaps a one-off Test against Afghanistan), failure to win against the Proteas may well tempt the selectors into dropping the wicket-keeper-batsman.