Michael Clarke Fires Back at Mitchell Johnson’s Blistering Critique of David Warner’s Farewell Test Series
In the wake of Mitchell Johnson’s surprising condemnation of David Warner ahead of his farewell Test series, former captain Michael Clarke raised concerns about the intensely personal nature of Johnson’s criticism. Clarke delved into the underlying dynamics, questioning the need for such a vehement attack on Warner as he gears up for his final Test series.
Michael Clarke, the former captain of Australia, has voiced his astonishment regarding Mitchell Johnson’s harsh critique of David Warner regarding the seasoned opener’s farewell Test series intentions. Having led both Johnson and Warner in the past, Clarke highlighted that he never observed any animosity between the two cricketing stalwarts. Emphasising the importance of avoiding personal attacks, he urged for a more constructive and respectful approach in discussing players’ decisions and plans.
Mitchell Johnson’s recent column in The Western Australian
Mitchell Johnson’s recent column in The Western Australian, published on Sunday, has sent ripples through the Australian cricket community just as the Pat Cummins-led side gears up for a 3-Test series against Pakistan. The aftermath of their World Cup triumph is still lingering, and Cummins didn’t hold back as he criticised David Warner, raising questions about the rationale behind allowing him to handpick his farewell Test. Cummins pointedly addressed Warner’s declining performance in the longest format of the game, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the upcoming series.
Johnson continued his critique by labelling David Warner as a cricketer who remains entangled in one of the most significant scandals in Australian cricket history. He questioned the decision to grant Warner a “hero’s send-off” despite his alleged lack of accountability for his role in the 2017 ball-tampering scandal that tarnished the reputation of Australian cricket. Johnson went on to express concerns that fans might bring Sandpaper to Warner’s farewell Test, adding a contentious layer to the narrative. These comments from Johnson followed the announcement of Warner’s inclusion in the Test squad for the series opener against Pakistan. Despite Warner’s earlier statement about wanting to bid adieu to Test cricket after playing the New Year’s Test against Pakistan at his home ground in Sydney, Johnson’s remarks have added a controversial twist to the unfolding cricketing saga.
I observed that, but I can’t definitively say there was any animosity between them during our playing days.
Perhaps there’s something I missed here—Mitch hasn’t been in the game for a while, so maybe there’s some unresolved tension. When you’re in a role like mine, expressing opinions rooted in what benefits the team or your own experiences is fair game. However, it should never veer into the personal realm. I make a conscious effort to keep it professional, and if it ever seems otherwise, an apology is in order. Maintaining that level of respect is crucial, and I don’t want it any other way.
David Warner faced a year-long suspension for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, sharing the ban with Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.
Notably, Warner also received a lifetime ban from holding any leadership role in Australian cricket. Despite maintaining an impressive Test average of nearly 45, Warner’s performance has witnessed a dip over the past two years, hovering around 30. In the last 20 Tests since the beginning of 2022, Warner has managed just one century, a double in his 100th Test. Within this period, he secured only five fifty-plus scores in 36 innings.
Despite these statistics, chief selector George Bailey affirmed on Sunday that the selectors believe Warner remains the right choice for the opening role in the upcoming Test series against Pakistan.
Mitchell Johnson didn’t spare George Bailey either, accusing him of being “too close to players” in his targeting remarks.
In response to the concerns raised about David Warner’s form, chief selector George Bailey defended the left-handed opener’s inclusion, emphasising the unique ability Warner possesses to exert pressure on the opposition.