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NEWSMAKER-Cricket-Johnson's up-and-down Ashes defined his career

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By Nick Mulvenney
    Nov 17 Australia's Mitchell Johnson, who retired
from international cricket on Tuesday, was an enigmatic player
who veered between being the most intimidating fast bowler in
the game and a figure of fun lampooned for his inaccuracy.
    At his full flowing best, which came in the first two years
of his test career and the golden season of 2013-14, he got such
pace and swing on the ball with his left-arm slingshot delivery
that he became virtually unplayable.
    It is those destructive, match-turning spells of raw pace
that will be remembered best, not least by the batsmen who had
the misfortune of facing them. 
    While he enjoyed great success against South Africa, both
home and away, contributions to the Ashes will always define the
careers of Australia's players and Johnson's experiences against
England illustrated his fluctuating fortunes.
    Coming off a brilliant tour of South Africa that went a long
way to earning him his first ICC Player of the Year award,
Johnson took 20 wickets in his first Ashes series in 2009.
    There was a hint of troubles to come at Lord's, however,
where he gave up 11 boundaries in his first eight overs as
England headed towards their first Ashes win at the ground since
1934.
    The 2-1 series defeat reduced Johnson to tears and before
the 2010-11 Ashes, he was full of talk of revenge on the English
and having banished his demons.
    In the first test, however, he finished with figures of
0-170 as England batted for two days to rescue a draw.
    Dropped for the innings defeat in the second test Adelaide,
he returned in Perth where he had the sort of impact that
explains why the selectors came back to him time and again.
    Australia had all but given up on the Ashes after England
bowled them out for 268 on day one but Johnson was reborn as a
test bowler on day two and skittled England's top order.
    
    QUIET MAN
    Johnson finished with 6-38, added three more wickets in the
second innings and the series was levelled at 1-1. It was the
last Ashes test Australia would win before Mitchell's second
rebirth at the Gabba in 2013.
    In between, came the pasting in the final two tests of that
series, during which England's Barmy Army of fans rejoiced in a
lengthy repertoire of songs deriding Johnson.
    The lampooning was especially cruel because for all the
biker moustaches, tattoos and scary bouncers, Johnson remained a
quiet and introspective man off the pitch.
    Dropped for the 2013 series in England, he returned to the
Ashes fray after showing a return to form in one-day cricket. No
one could expect what was to come.
    His first few overs in the opening test at the Gabba were
erratic but he then summoned up a barrage of venomous bouncers
that put real fear into the eyes of the English batsmen, whipped
up the crowd and turned the series irrevocably to the home side.
    He took 37 wickets in all -- nine in Brisbane, eight in
Adelaide, six in Perth, eight in Melbourne and six in Sydney --
as the English, strong favourites for a fourth successive Ashes
triumph, were swept 5-0.
    His brilliant season, which was to earn him a second ICC
Player of the Year award, continued in Australia's 2-1 series
win in South Africa, where he took another 22 wickets.
    Johnson's 59 wickets over the two series came at an average
of 15.23 and if he never reached such heights again, it ensured
he would be able to walk away from test cricket on his own terms
at a time of his own choosing.

 (Editing by John O'Brien)

Source: R-Csports

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FACTBOX-Cricket-Reaction to Mitchell Johnson's retirement

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PERTH Nov 17 Following is reaction to Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson’s decision to retire from international cricket at the conclusion of the second test against New Zealand later on Tuesday:

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Retired India batting great Sachin Tendulkar

@sachin_rt : Good luck to @MitchJohnson398 who has always been a special bowler. Got to know him well at @mipaltan and enjoyed his aggressive approach!

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Former Australia captain Michael Clarke:

@MClarke23: What an athlete! One of the best I ever played with.

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Former England test batsman Paul Collingwood:

@Colly622 : @MitchJohnson398 bowled rockets and still does!! Congrats on scaring the life out of every batsmen around the world mate, it was great

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South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers

@ABdeVilliers17 : Incredible athlete! Congrats on a magnificent career @MitchJohnson398

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Former England captain Michael Vaughan

@MichaelVaughan : All the England lads will be celebrating they won’t have to face @MitchJohnson398 again in Australia…. Great career & a Great man..

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Former Australia bowler Brett Lee

@BrettLee_58 : A massive congratulations to @mitchjohnson398 on a wonderful career. It was incredible to play in the same team as you. Well done mate. Happy retirement!

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Australia all-rounder Shane Watson:

@ShaneRWatson33 : Brings tears to my eyes to think that I won’t play again with my great mate @MitchJohnson398. Great team man, great friend & cricket legend

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Former Australia test bowler Jason Gillespie

@YCCCDizzy : Congratulations @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career. Well done pal! #topbowler #topbloke

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Former India test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar

@sanjaymanjrekar : Will miss Mitchell Johnson. They don’t make many like him anymore. The fast, scary kind.

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Former Australia bowler Damien Fleming

@bowlologist : Big congrats to @MitchJohnson398 most hostile Fast bowling Cartel quick of generation #BatsmanBreathASighOfRelief

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Former Australia paceman Ryan Harris

@r_harris413 : Massive congrats to great mate @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career. Will be a few batsmen in the world breathing easier! Congrats mate!

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South Africa T20 captain Faf Du Plessis

@faf1307 : Well done @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career.Great competitor and a incredible athlete.You can be very proud of what you achieved #gas

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Former Australia batsman Damien Martyn

@damienmartyn : Well played @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career… We will never forget those ferocious spells.. @CricketAus (Compiled by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Nick Mulvenney)


Source: R-Csports

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UPDATE 1-Cricket-New Zealand 28-0 at tea, chasing 321 in Perth

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* New Zealand chasing 321 for win
    * Rain brings early tea
    * Less than 40 overs remain

 (updates at tea)
    By David Gray
    PERTH, Nov 17 New Zealand made a solid if
unspectacular start to their pursuit of 321 runs for victory
after Australia had declared on 385 for seven by reaching tea on
28 without loss on the final day of the second test on Tuesday.
    Openers Martin Guptill, who had made 13 not out, and Tom
Latham, who was unbeaten on 15, will resume after the break,
which was taken early because of a rain shower, with just under
40 overs remaining to secure the win, or stave off defeat.
    Mitchell Johnson, who announced before the start of play
that Tuesday would be his last day as an international
cricketer, scored 29 off 45 balls before becoming one of five
Australian batsmen to be dismissed on the final day.
    New Zealand's first innings 624 had given them a 65-run lead
over Australia's 559-9 declared. The hosts have declared all
four of their innings over the first two tests. 
    Australia won the first match by 208 runs in Brisbane last
week and the series concludes at the Adelaide Oval, where the
world's first day-night test begins on Nov. 27.
    Steve Smith (138), Mitchell Marsh (1) and Adam Voges (119)
all fell in an opening session, where a bit of swing meant ball
had the edge over bat for the first time in a run-fest of a
match.
    Johnson, who was welcomed by a guard of honour of applauding
New Zealanders, was the first of the two batsmen to depart
caught behind off Tim Southee (4-97) after lunch with Peter
Nevill (35) following him back to the dressing room.
    Skipper Smith had obviously decided 320 would be a big
enough target to defend and his loud whistle called Mitchell
Starc (28 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (2 not out) in to get
ready to take the new ball an hour before tea.
    Johnson led the Australians back onto the pitch on his 73rd
and final test and had bowled an over and two balls without
conceding a run before rain forced an early break.

 (Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by John O'Brien)

Source: R-Csports

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