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"There was an opportunity for a lot of guys to be playing Shield cricket" - Mitchell Johnson worried about Australia's Ashes preparations

Australia's Test team. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Australia's Test team. (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson fears the T20 World Cup might affect Australia's Ashes defense at home.

Johnson has also expressed concerns over a lack of first-class cricket under Australia's belt and thinks their first-choice pacers should have skipped the World Cup.

Australia will walk into the Ashes series having last played a Test match in January this year.

While the likes of Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Nathan Lyon and Marcus Harris are playing Shield cricket, the other first-choice players are playing in the T20 World Cup.

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Mitchell Johnson feels Australia's star cricketers, particularly the likes of Mitchell Starc, should have played a couple of Shield games to get in rhythm before the Ashes.

The 39-year-old stated, as quoted by The Herald Sun:

"I'm a bit stuck because they haven't played any longer form cricket. I think there was an opportunity for a lot of guys to be playing Shield cricket. I know this will probably stir the pot a little bit, but that's how I've seen it.
"If it was my career and I hadn't played any longer form for a whole year with an Ashes series coming up, I would have been playing a couple of Shield games just to get my body right and get myself into a good rhythm."

Foreseeing a challenge for the selectors ahead of the first Test in Brisbane, Johnson said:

"Normally you've played a lot more Test match cricket and you can off that form. But this is going to be a tricky one this year for the selectors and George Bailey's biggest test so far. I don’t know who you go with to be honest for the first Test."

England, who suffered 5-0 and 4-0 defeats in their last two visits Down Under, will feel boosted by Ben Stokes' late addition. While the hosts will fancy retaining the urn, the tourists are likely to provide a significant challenge on this occasion.

"Maybe some of the guys did think about skipping the World Cup" - Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson. (Image Credits: Getty)
Mitchell Johnson. (Image Credits: Getty)

Johnson reckons Australia's cricketers might have considered missing the T20 World Cup but could have been in a fix. He added:

"Maybe some of the guys did think about it. But obviously it’s pretty hard to say no to a World Cup and if you turn around and say no, it looks like you’re not taking T20 cricket serious.
"It's almost like you can't win. Maybe in the future that's where they're heading towards, having a separate T20 team."

Australia's 2021 T20 World Cup hopes hang by a thread after a comprehensive eight-wicket loss to England on Saturday.

The men in yellow face two must-win games against the West Indies and Bangladesh to progress to the semi-finals.

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Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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