India have taken risk by picking only four specialist pacers for T20 World Cup 2022, says Mitchell Johnson
India’s squad composition for the T20 World Cup 2022 seems a “bit risky” as they are probably “a pacer short” for the bouncy pitches Down Under, feels former Australia speedster Mitchell Johnson.
A few sports analysts were astonished that the talented Mohammad Shami was kept on standby, as the Indian selection stuck with the quartet that included Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, and Arshdeep Singh and was led by Jasprit Bumrah.
“If you got an all-rounder (fast bowling) and a couple of spinners, four fast bowlers it is a bit of a risk. But India are probably looking at playing two pacers and an all rounder (Hardik Pandya) and two spinners,” Johnson, who is in India to take part in Legends League Cricket, told PTI.
“In Australia you surely need to play three fast bowlers, possibly four in certain conditions, for example Perth. I guess they have a plan going in but it is a bit of a risk if you only take four (pacers),” the former left-arm tearaway quick bowler.
Only Bumrah in the Indian setup has the ability to regularly bowl at 140 mph or higher, but pace cannot be the only criterion for creating a strong bowling team, according to Johnson.
India received criticism for their bowling depth (or lack thereof) at the recent Asia Cup in the UAE, whereas Pakistan took pride in having bowlers with lightning-fast express pace who terrified the hitters.
Johnson, though, considers it absurd to emphasise speed.
“Those kinds of things are funny (That all should bowl at 145 plus). If someone can bowl 145 plus, you don’t need another guy bowling at the same pace. You need guys that back each other up, work together.”
He continued by mentioning how fast medium seam bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle complimented him during the 2013–14 Ashes, in which England was utterly destroyed.
“During the 2013-14 Ashes, there was a lot of talk about me bowling fast and that was great but at the other end I had Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris who had their own strengths and could also hit 140s. So it is all about the balance in the team.
“The main thing in Australia is the extra bounce and pace and adjusting your length, you can get carried away and bowl a bit too short.”
‘Warner or Smith should not be made Australia captain’
An extensive debate regarding his replacement has sparked by Aaron Finch’s decision to withdraw from ODIs.
Steven Smith, who given a two-year captaincy suspension following the incident in South Africa, also a possibility. David Warner, who earned a lifelong leadership penalty for his involvement in the ball-tampering controversy in 2018, has voiced a strong desire to lead Australia.
Johnson believes the squad needs a younger captain because both players are nearing the conclusion of their careers.
“Pat Cummins (Test skipper) may not be able to do all formats. It might be too much workload for him, but then I look and check who is available.
“The selectors have someone in mind, maybe Glenn Maxwell. Cameron Green will also be a good choice if you are looking at the future. But there is already a heavy workload for him as an all-rounder. Travis Head is there but he needs to be more consistent.
“Both Warner and Smith should not be captains. No issue with them being advisors of the team which they already are. I don’t see why this needs to brought up all over again, it brings back the old stuff (the scandal)….
“They are also towards the end of their careers. So it should be someone who has got more time in the game.”
On growth of domestic T20 leagues across globes
Johnson concluded the discussion by sharing his opinions on the controversy surrounding the burgeoning T20 leagues and international cricket. In order to play in international leagues, players are forgoing national contracts.
“When I first heard about all this, emotions rose, you think about loyalty to your country. And things like that but the game has changed, players are changing,” he said referring to Trent Boult’s decision to let go of his central contract with New Zealand.
“There are many leagues around, players have to be smart about what they play in. There is going to be burn-out in T20 leagues as well. I rather be more traditional, players wanting to play for their country. But I understand the need to earn a living as well. It is a concern going forward,” said the left-arm pacer.
Johnson is looking forward to catching up with his rivals from all over the world. While in India for the Legends League Cricket.
“I got here tomorrow. I never wanted to play after I retired and bowling again doesn’t come naturally (after you done). But it is exciting to be able to meet all the players you played with and against,” he added.