MELBOURNE: Australian captain Steve Smith on Tuesday heaped praise on Mitchell Johnson, describing the retiring pace spearhead as ‘the ultimate professional’, who will bid adieu to his illustrious career at the conclusion of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand in Perth.
Smith revealed that Johnson had told his team mates and coach Darren Lehmann of his decision after play on the fourth day and said that the left-hander had been contemplating about the retirement quite a lot.
Although the skipper was surprised by Johnson’s decision, he said that the 34-year-old was a terrific athlete, the ultimate professional and an amazing fast bowler.
Reflecting more on his glorious career, Smith said that Johnson had changed the way Australian cricket was played and that it was a pretty amazing record to be the fourth-leading wicket taker for Australia for all time in Test cricket, ESPNcricinfo reported.
Smith said that Johnson was an absolute nightmare to face when he used to swing the ball at a searing pace of 150kph. He added the bowler deserved all the accolades he receives.
The pace spearhead’s decision to call time on his career comes soon after similar moves by fellow Australians Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Chris Rogers and Ryan Harris.
Johnson replaced Brett Lee as Australia’s fourth highest wicket taker when he dismissed Doug Bracewell in the Perth Test. Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708) are the only bowlers to have taken more wickets.