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"I think he's trying to fool his own mind" - Mitchell Johnson hits back at Joe Root's Gabba claim ahead of the 2021-22 Ashes series

Joe Root. (Image Credits: Getty)
Joe Root. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson fired back at England captain Joe Root's claims of the Gabba no longer being a fortress for the hosts. Mitchell Johnson retaliated by saying that India's win in Brisbane in January has made Root overconfident.

Australia's 32-year-old-winning streak at the Gabba in Tests ended this year as India stunned the hosts. The visitors chased down 329 on the final day of the Test, inflicting a soul-crushing three-wicket loss. England, on the other hand, secured their last Test win at the venue in 1986.

📆 ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CRICKET AUSTRALIAThe dates for the 2021/22 Men’s Ashes series and venues 👇 https://t.co/GAca7zEG0Y

Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Mitchell Johnson said India's victory shouldn't mean the same for England too. Contradicting Root's opinion, the 40-year-old strongly believes the venue remains their stronghold. He said:

"Maybe he's trying to trick his own mind into thinking that because India played well there that they should be okay. But I think he's trying to fool his own mind. It's still a stronghold from our point of view, from an Australian (point of view). Even from the perspective of someone just watching the game, who hasn't played in a while, you know the Gabba's hot."

Root, who will play his third Ashes series in Australia, said in an exclusive interview with the Guardian that India's win gives England plenty of confidence in accomplishing the same in the first Test of the 2021-22 Ashes series.

The No. 1 Test batsman feels if England win the key moments of the game as India did, they should also fancy their chances.

"It's one of the best places to start a Test series for Australia" - Mitchell Johnson

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

Johnson also remarked that the scorching heat hardly makes it easy for the visiting teams. The Queenslander noted that regardless of the conditions, Australia remain favorites and said:

"You always cramp in that first Test match. It doesn't matter if you're an experienced player or not and you get yourself prepared the best you can. You tend to find, especially if you're a bowler and if you're batting for a long time, you will cramp there."

He added:

"The ground's a bit softer, the pitch is hard, so you go from soft to hard, then you've got the heat, the humidity. If it rains there, you've got to deal with the moisture coming out of the ground, as well. So you're feeling all that stuff. It definitely plays into Australia's hands. So that's why it's one of the best places to start a Test series for Australia."

Johnson notably terrorized the Englishmen in the 2013-14 Ashes series Down Under. The left-arm speedster took 37 wickets in five Tests at 13.97, helped by some hostile bowling. Australia beat England in that leg by 5-0 to reclaim the urn.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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