Johnson: England will struggle mentally


Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson feels England are struggling mentally in the current Ashes Down Under, just as they did four years ago when the Aussies won 5-0.

Johnson was the star of the show in the 2013/2014 series as he took 37 wickets and genuinely scared some English batsmen with his pace.

That series also saw the resignation of Andy Flower as England coach, the retirement of spinner Graeme Swann and the withdrawal from the tour of Jonathan Trott while Kevin Pietersen never played international cricket again after that.

Johnson sees similarities from that series and now, where the hosts are already two-nil up with three games still to play and the visitors having plenty of off-field issues.

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Speaking about the remainder of the series. Johnson said: “England will struggle mentally. You’ve got guys like Alastair Cook struggling.

“He can’t find form. And I’d say he’s thinking about retirement. He has played 150 Test matches; it’s got to take it out of you.

“Joe Root is the skipper, and there’s a lot of pressure on him with what’s happening outside the game but also winning the toss and what he did last game was debatable and that’s got to mentally take its toll on him as well.

“He’ll be questioning and doubting himself.

“We’re still talking about [Ben] Stokes and then there’s [Jonny] Bairstow who I thought was a little bit up and down, whether he was going to be their next senior player to step up, and we haven’t seen that yet.

“They don’t really have a lot going for them to be honest, and I can say that now sitting on the outside – its’ easier to say. That’s just what I see.”

The third Ashes Test starts in Perth on Thursday with England needing to win to have any hope of retaining the urn.