Mitchell Johnson Unleashes Criticism on Warner and Bailey: “Arrogance and Disrespect”

Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has come out strongly against his ex-teammates David Warner and George Bailey, accusing Warner of arrogance and disrespect in seeking a Test farewell on his own terms. Johnson also questioned Bailey’s role and proximity to players in the selection panel, in sports news cricket.

Warner’s Farewell Controversy

Mitchell Johnson, in his scathing Sunday column in The West Australian, criticized the decision to accommodate David Warner’s desire for a Test farewell, despite his underwhelming performance in recent years. Johnson raised questions about Warner’s contribution and whether his actions were deserving of a hero’s send-off.

“It’s been five years, and David Warner has still never really owned the ball-tampering scandal,” Johnson wrote. “Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country.”

Johnson questioned why a struggling Test opener like Warner gets to nominate his own retirement date, emphasizing Warner’s less-than-impressive Test record in the past three years. He criticized Warner’s handling of the ball-tampering scandal, stating that Warner hasn’t fully acknowledged his role in the controversy.

“He ends his career under a lifetime leadership ban,” Johnson continued. “Does this really warrant a swansong, a last hurrah against Pakistan that was forecast a year in advance as if he was bigger than the game and the Australian cricket team?”

Mitchell Johnson also turned his attention to George Bailey, the chairman of selectors, accusing him of being too close to the players and drawing parallels between Warner’s situation and Bailey’s conflict-of-interest concerns during Tim Paine’s career-ending controversy.

“I also wonder what the role of the head selector is these days. It seems to have moved to be a part of the inner sanctum rather than standing aside from it. There’s now throw downs for the players, golfing together and celebrating wins to all hours,” Johnson remarked.

Bailey Responds to Criticism

George Bailey, responding to Johnson’s critique during a media conference, kept his response restrained, saying, “I’ve been sent little snippets of it. I hope he’s okay.” Bailey defended the decision to include Warner in the squad, emphasizing that Warner is still one of the best options to open alongside Usman Khawaja.

Bailey declined to go into detail about his philosophy as chairman of selectors but questioned the notion that being distant from the team would make him a better selector. He emphasized the importance of understanding the players’ situations and plans with the team.

“To be honest, I don’t think now is probably the appropriate time to go into it,” Bailey said. “If someone can show me how being distant and unaware of what players are going through and what the plans are with the team and with the coaching staff, how that’s more beneficial, I’d be all ears.”

Bailey warned about the challenges of replacing Warner at the top of the order, likening it to Australia’s search for a spin replacement for Shane Warne between 2007 and 2011. He highlighted Warner’s unique ability to put opposition attacks under pressure and emphasized the need to find the right fit post-Warner.

“That ability to put the opposition under pressure is pretty special, and not to be taken lightly,” Bailey said. “Whenever you’ve had someone who’s had that longevity and been so dominating in a role… that fit post-David is the right one.”

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Harshit Sachan - 980 Posts

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