No more Mitchcraft as Johnson retires

Australia's Mitchell Johnson being applauded off the field by his team-mates during the final day of the second Test against New Zealand in Perth.
Australia's Mitchell Johnson being applauded off the field by his team-mates during the final day of the second Test against New Zealand in Perth.PHOTO: REUTERS

Final spell from Australian fast bowler yields two NZ scalps as Perth Test ends in a draw

PERTH • The second Test between Australia and New Zealand fizzled out into a draw yesterday but not before Mitchell Johnson gave one last reminder of his bowling prowess on the day he announced his retirement from international cricket.

New Zealand's pursuit of 321 runs for victory in 48 overs already looked unlikely to succeed but after rain cut 90 minutes out of the fifth and final day at the Waca, the spoils looked destined to be shared.

The tourists had made 104 for two when bad light brought an end to the game, leaving Australia 1-0 up in the series going into the third Test in Adelaide courtesy of their 208-run win in Brisbane last week.

Johnson, who made his announcement before the start of play, summoned up one last spell of raw pace to dismiss both New Zealand openers and was chaired off the ground by his team-mates.

"They were the sort of wickets I've been getting for the last couple of years, I really wanted to rip a couple in and the body let me do it," said Johnson.

"There is a fair bit of emotion when the boys picked me up. It has been great. I have really enjoyed myself. I can walk off and be proud of my career."

CURTAIN CALL

There is a fair bit of emotion when the boys picked me up. It has been great. I have really enjoyed myself. I can walk off and be proud of my career.

MITCHELL JOHNSON, on his retirement from international cricket

The 34-year-old had Tom Latham caught on the fine leg boundary for 15, Josh Hazlewood sliding in to take a fine catch. Johnson then surprised Martin Guptill (17) with a rising delivery and he fended a catch to Joe Burns at short leg.

Given a guard of honour by the Kiwis earlier in the day, the left-armer finished with 2-20 from six overs, a vastly improved return on his 1-157 in the first innings.

The two scalps saw him finish his 73-Test career with 313 wickets at just over 28 apiece. He sits behind Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708).

His best haul was 8-61 against South Africa at the Waca ground in 2008.

Johnson made one Test century and also played 153 one-day internationals for 239 wickets.

He follows Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson, who all upped stumps after the recent Ashes series against England.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted: "All the England lads will be celebrating they won't have to face (Johnson) again in Australia... Great career & a great man.."

Retired India batting great Sachin Tendulkar also paid tribute to Johnson, his Mumbai Indians team-mate during the 2012-13 Indian Premier League.

"Good luck to (Johnson) who has always been a special bowler," he tweeted. "Got to know him well at (Mumbai Indians) and enjoyed his aggressive approach!"

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'No more Mitchcraft as Johnson retires'. Print Edition | Subscribe