Sport

Johnson takes swipe at selectors over bowler rotation

Mitchell Johnson.
Mitchell Johnson. Wikimedia/RaeA

LEFT-ARM quick Mitchell Johnson has taken a subtle swipe at the national selectors, questioning their controversial fast-bowler rotation policy.

Fellow left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc is reported to be next in line to be rested from the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka at the MCG.

Tasmania's in-form Jackson Bird is apparently set to replace Starc and make his Australia debut, and there is no denying his form would warrant an opportunity.

The 26-year-old, originally from Sydney, has taken 87 first-class wickets at a remarkable 19.72 in 17 matches.

But Starc would have every right to feel disappointed if he was left out after snaring 5-63 in Sri Lanka's second innings, helping the Aussies win the first Test in Hobart by 137 runs.

The 22-year-old bowled a total of 52.2 overs in what was his second straight game, an effort which is now regarded as a heavy workload by Cricket Australia's team performance unit.

Ben Hilfenhaus suffered a side strain in that same match, taking Australia's injured list of fast bowlers to seven.

Johnson is set to come in as his replacement, but the West Australian quick said the national selectors should not show too much caution.

"If you're fit to play, you should be playing, and your best 11 should be playing," Johnson said.

"It's obviously a hard one, but as a bowler, personally I don't want to rest in a Test match.

"Test matches are the pinnacle, especially a Boxing Day Test. You don't want to rest if you don't need to rest."

Starc is of the same opinion, saying after arriving at Melbourne Airport on Saturday that he would never put his hand up for a rest.

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Michael Clarke was yesterday rated only a 50/50 chance to play by the chairman of selectors, John Inverarity.Clarke injured his hamstring while batting in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Inverarity talked up the MCG wicket as being a very good one to bat on, with the Australians confident they would be able to handle the spin of Rangana Herath who took 5-95 in the second innings in Hobart.

"He got five wickets, but went for a few runs," Australian opening batsman Ed Cowan said.

"A lot of his wickets were guys chasing runs quickly in that second innings.

"He's a world-class bowler - I think he's second on the list for wicket-takers in the year, but we saw last year against (Indian spinner) Ravi Ashwin he looked pretty ineffective against some of our batters."

Topics:  bowling, mitchell johnson




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

How clean eating transformed incredible shrinking woman

AFTER: Mariah Tonkin has lost almost 60kg.

Clean eating wins the day for Hillcrest’s Mariah Tonkin

US recruit keen to help Ipswich Force

Ipswich basketballer Jason Ralph in his Valley City State University gear.

Ipswich basketballer benefits from US stint

OPINION: Pauline Hanson supporters deserve a voice

SPEAKING OUT: Pauline Hanson is a love or hate figure who is sure to spark controversy.

My Two Cents with QT journalist Adam Davies

Latest deals and offers

Cameron Smith talks about 37 Origins

Cameron Smith, the most Origin games by a Queenslander.

Qld Captain Cameron Smith talks about his record-breaking 37 Origin appearances.

Winternats New Sponsor

The Ipswich City Council has taken over as the major sponsor for the 2016...

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago