Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

Mitchell Johnson gets a ‘short little break’, to miss first England ODI

Mitchell Johnson tormented the England batsmen with his searing pace and bounce in the Test matches (AP) Mitchell Johnson tormented the England batsmen with his searing pace and bounce in the Test matches (AP)
By: Reuters | Posted: January 9, 2014 2:16 pm

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson will be rested for Sunday’s first one-day international against England to keep him fresh for the rest of the summer, coach Darren Lehmann said on Thursday.

With the five-match ODI series and next month’s tour of South Africa coming up, Australia will look to rotate a few more players from the Test side who thumped England 5-0 in the just concluded Ashes series.

“It’s obviously been a big summer for him (Johnson) so we’re just giving him a short little break, making sure he’s getting fresh for the other one-dayers as well (as the Tests),” Lehmann told reporters.

“It’s important we put the best side we possibly can out understanding it’s been a hectic five Test matches and some of the Test boys especially are a bit weary.

“We’ll sum it up as we go. We certainly don’t want to go down the path previously where we’ve rested clumps of players. We want to pick and choose where we can do it.

“We want them to play in their home state and we want to make sure we’re putting a good squad together looking ahead to the World Cup. This one-day format is very important for us.”

The 32-year-old left-arm fast bowler tormented the England batsmen with his searing pace and bounce and picked up 37 wickets in the five-match series.

While his selection for the South Africa touring party is guaranteed, batsman George Bailey will be in a spot of bother about his Test future after he could garner just 183 runs in the series at an average of 26.

Australia’s ODI vice-captain broke into the Ashes squad after a brilliant performance in the limited-over series in India late last year and would hope to recreate the same magic to seal his middle-order batting spot for South Africa.

“Every time you represent your country you’re trying to play in all formats,” Lehmann said of Bailey.

“Every game, as we’ve talked about pre-summer and with the Indian one-day series, it’s important for guys to make runs and take wickets.”

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