Former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson turns 38 on Saturday. Born on November 2, 1981, the left-arm bowler was gifted with sheer and will go down as one of the most intimidating bowlers of all time. Hailing from Queensland, the speedster used to bowl with hostility and has dented many prominent batting line-ups in his career. The latter was a great exploiter of the new ball and was equally lethal at the death overs. Vicious bouncers and toe-crushing yorkers Were Johnson’s biggest weapons which made him a captain's delight. Along with his capability with the ball, Johnson was also a handy batsman down the order. Mitchell Johnson, Former Australian Pacer Elected Marylebone Cricket Club Honorary Life Member.
The Aussie star made his debut in December 2005 and toiled the batsman for 10 years in International cricket. Johnson played 73 Tests in his illustrious career in which he scalped 313 wickets. In ODIs, the left-arm quick has 239 wickets in 153 matches. The bowler also had 38 wickets from 30 T20Is. The latter also won the ICC Cricketer of the year award twice; in 2009 and 2014. He also won the Allan Border Medal in 2014. So, on the occasion of Mitchell Johnson’s 38th, let’s look at the five staggering spells bowled by the pacer in International cricket.
5/26 Against India in Vadodra
The left-arm pacer bowled a fiery spell in the fifth ODI of Australia’s 2007 Tour of India and rattled the Men in Blue in their own den. India’s decision of batting first proved to be costly as they got trailed by Johnson’s fantastic bowling performance and bagged his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs. The hosts were packed for mere 148 runs in the first innings and later the Aussies won the match by nine wickets.
6/31 Against Sri Lanka in Pallekele
Another Johnson’s brilliance came in the first ODI of Australia’s 2011 Tour of Sri Lanka. Bowling first, the speedster dismissed the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in quick succession and put the Men in Yellow on the driver’s seat. In total, Johnson scalped six wickets and the Lankans were dismissed for only 192 runs. While chasing, the Aussies didn’t face many problems and won the match by seven wickets.
4/61 & 5/42 Against England in Brisbane
The 2013-14 Ashes series was the highlight of the pacer’s career as he was all over the English batsman throughout the five Tests. In the first match only, Johnson bowled a terrific spell and took nine wickets in the match. The pacer scaped four wickets during England’s first innings and followed it up by the five-fer in the last innings of the match. The speedster’s effort proved to be match-defining as the Aussies clinch the encounter by 381 runs.
7/40 Against England in Adelaide
As mentioned above Johnson was at his prime during the 2013-14 Ashes series. In the second Test of the series, Australia posted 570 runs in the first innings and the pitch seemed batting-friendly. However, Johnson bowled a tremendous spell and took wickets in the second innings. As a result, England were bundled out for 172 runs and later lost the match by 218 runs.
7/68 & 5/59 Against South Africa in Centurion
The mighty Proteas batting line-up became a victim of a Johnson’s special in the opening Test of Australia’s 2014 Tour of South Africa. Batting first, the Aussies posted a decent total of 397 runs. However, in reply, the Graeme Smith-led side were dismantled by the pacer's seven-wicket haul and could only manage 206 runs. The bowler again delivered a scintillating spell in the last innings of the match and guided Australia to an emphatic 281-run victory.
In November 2015, Johnson bid adieu to international cricket and many batsmen around the world got a breather. Post-retirement, the latter has served as a commentator and has been seen giving his voices in many matches. As of now, Australian cricket are enjoying the services of pacers like Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood who proved their mettle at the highest level and are expected to take Johnson’s legacy forward.