Johnson inspired by young Oz pacemen

Australia

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson says he considered retiring after the Ashes, following the five other senior players who hung up their spikes, but has been inspired by the fast bowling talent in Australia.

Johnson watched as Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers, and Shane Watson ended their Test careers earlier this year, and he thought of doing the same. 

But watching the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood doing so well domestically has fired him up, determined to prove he still belongs.

Johnson wrote in a column for News Corp: "I was definitely questioning myself after the Ashes series, especially having seen so many guys that I’ve played cricket with pull up stumps. 

"I’ve spoken to past players about what they felt when they retired, guys like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, and they say you’ll just know when the time is right. 

"Physically you can still manage the workload, but it’s the mental side of things that ends up catching up with you.

"When I was back in Perth and watching the Matador Cup on TV, I saw a few of the young guys doing well and it actually made me reflect on a where I’m at in my career. 

"I went for a run, really pushed myself hard and in a way it made me realise that I still had the fire to continue competing."

Johnson has been in fine form for the Warriors in the Matador Cup, but now has to switch focus to the Test side, as they prepare to play three Tests against New Zealand next month, including the first ever day-night Test.

He added: "I’m really looking forward to playing the upcoming series against New Zealand. This is the best chance they’ve had of beating us at home in years. 

"They’ve got a pretty experienced group of players and they’re coming into the series with a lot of confidence, while we’re going through a period of significant change. 

"That said, playing them in our conditions means we’re always a big chance and that’ll have them a bit worried. 

"I want to beat them here, and then I want to go over there and beat them on their own turf early next year."

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