‘We’re close to seeing the last of Johnson’


Former Australia captain Mark Taylor feels fast bowler Mitchell Johnson could well be playing in his final Test series, after the paceman admitted to thinking about retirement 'most days'.

Taylor thinks Johnson's mental state indicates a desire to join the five other players who retired after the Ashes, especially after a difficult two days of bowling in the second Test against New Zealand in Perth.

Johnson, who is 34, took just the one wicket in the Black Caps' marathon innings of 624 runs, and went for nearly six runs to the over. Taylor reckons this could push the paceman to call it a day.

Taylor said on Channel Nine: "Once you start thinking about giving the game away it’s always a worrying sign, because days like Australia have had over the last day and a half, 130-odd overs in the field, they weigh heavily on you.

"You start to think, 'Should I still be playing, I'm now 34, the body’s getting a bit older, I'm getting a bit sorer, do I still really want to do it?'

"That day yesterday would have really tested him.

"The good news is he got the wicket but if this is not his last Test, I think we're getting really close to seeing the last of Mitchell Johnson, which is a shame because he’s been a terrific bowler for Australia."

The paceman had made the comments about retirement just days before this Test in Perth, saying he often thought about hanging up his spikes, but would take it day by day from now on.

Johnson said: "I think about it most days. It is probably getting to be that time, but to be honest I am just trying to play each game and enjoy it like I have said before.

"It could be after this game. I might just go 'I am done', but I'm still enjoying my cricket at the moment and enjoying the challenges."