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Johnson out of Adelaide Test

By Kim Hagdorn
1 December 2010 05:11PM EST

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EXCLUSIVE: BELEAGUERED Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has been dropped for the Second Ashes Test starting in Adelaide on Friday.

Johnson, 29, is believed to have been told by Australia’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch in Adelaide on Wednesday morning at training that he would be dropped.

Johnson is understood to have been furious at his omission and indicated that he would not train with the Aussies in the Adelaide nets in the besieged team’s last full workout before an optional session on Thursday, the day before the match starts.

Johnson will be replaced in the starting XI by another left-arm speedster Doug Bollinger, who was surprisingly left out of the opening Test when the selectors opted for first innings hero Peter Siddle.

Bollinger is likely to be the only change to the misfiring Australian attack unless swing specialist Ben Hilfenhaus fails to recover from a slight hamstring strain.

Hilfenhaus bowled in England’s history-making second innings 1-517, with his hamstring soreness and is now in a race against time to be fully fit for the Second Test.

If the workhorse seamer is unfit, he will be replaced by former South Australian paceman Ryan Harris, who now plays with Queensland.

Australian team officials tried to explain Johnson’s absence from the training nets on Wednesday as a “rest” from bowling.

But he is known to have been extremely bitter at his omission.

Johnson is expected to return to his adopted state of Western Australia and he will, ironically, play against his old state Queensland in a one-day 50-overs-a-side match at the WACA in Perth on Friday.

The out-of-sorts paceman went without taking a wicket at a cost of 170 runs in the opening Test at Brisbane last week.

He has played 39 Tests as one of the most potentially explosive pace bowlers and handy left-hand tail-end batsmen in world cricket.

But his failure to claim a victim in Brisbane was the first time in a Test match Johnson has not taken a wicket.

His bowling action was well out of sorts and his line wayward with a low and at times slinging delivery arm.

Australian coach Tim Nielsen had indicated a day after his poor performance that Johnson’s confidence and technique could be remedied in time for the Adelaide Test.

It is understood Johnson has been told he will be considered for the Third Test starting in Perth on December 16, if he can rejuvenate his fiery and accurate best bowling through state cricket.

He faces another outing against his former state teammates at the Gabba on Wednesday December 8 and then the start of a four-day Sheffield Shield match two days later.

Johnson could even confront similar circumstances leading to the Third Test that led to Bollinger’s recall.

The big New South Welshman played just two days of a Shield match against WA in Perth and was replaced in the Blues team with a call into the troubled national bowling make-up.

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Add your comment... Comments (6)
William 1 December 2010 6:32PM

Blame it on the Mo!!!

RedDragon1972 1 December 2010 6:49PM

Johnson has been bowling like a pussycat for months. I think he is getting karate chopped once too often at home.

Hally1297 1 December 2010 11:24PM

From what I saw he's a chucker anyway. Ive seen 6 yr olds with better actions !

Gaston Prereth 2 December 2010 12:05AM

I think it's a mistake. The pitch, on recent performances, should be faster and harder than in Brissy and would suit MJ's bowling style. Out of the Aussie line up, MJ is the one bowler that could suddenly hit form an anihilate a line-up. I think Strauss' Army is going to read this article with glee.
If I was the Aussie's, I would have dropped North and brought a 5th bowler in, it would be the attacking option for a batting wicket and would show proper intent to win. The days of their great bowlers are gone and I think they need to realise that, without that quality, a four man attack is a gamble. Australia need to win the series, it's about time they started looking like they want to.

David 2 December 2010 7:20AM

Rats. As a pom I was quite looking forward to seeing him again. Maybe you lot shouldn't be so hasty.

The Masked Commenter 2 December 2010 10:09AM

Johnson is not test quality, he may have had a few good games, but not for a long time. Hilfy should be dropped too, in his career he still hasn't taken 5 wickets in an innings.