After Mitchell Johnson’s retirement on Tuesday, Fiasco Sports takes a look back at the beginning of a memorable Summer for one of Australia’s greatest fast bowlers.
When Australia faced England at The Gabba in a bid to ‘return the urn’ in the summer of 2013/14, it was unknown whether they had the bowling firepower to overcome England’s batsmen.
Just three months earlier, Australia had failed at the Ashes for the third straight time, losing 3-0 to home side England.
Australians across the country were now questioning Australia’s test ability for the first time in decades.
That was until Mitchell Johnson came steaming in from the Stanley Street End.
After being dropped for the Ashes tour of England earlier that year, Johnson had not faced England since they last travelled to Australia in 2011.
In that series, Johnson’s bowling was wayward, he was in and out of the side, and on top of it all, became subject to chanting from the ‘Barmy Army’.
He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, his names Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is shite.
As Johnson steamed in from the Stanley Street end those chants were in full voice once again.
Johnson’s bowling was anything but wayward this time around.
This bowling was aggressive, short and very fast.
Just ask Jonathan Trott who had a ball smash into his left glove as he attempted to use his bat as a shield for the short ball.
Two overs later and the last before lunch, Johnson had Trott once again jumping across his crease, this time snicking a well directed short ball through to the keeper, to give Johnson his first wicket of the Summer.
Johnson went on to knock over Michael Carberry, Joe Root and Graeme Swann in successive overs after lunch.
It was an impressive four wickets in the first innings from Johnson, which saw England collapse to 136 all out and had Australians across the country believing once again.
In the second innings Johnson consolidated a man of the match performance with another five-wicket haul, leading Australia to a 381 run victory and 1-0 lead in the series.
It would be unfair to say that this was the return of Mitchell Johnson as he played some great cricket at various times across his 73 career tests.
However, it certainly is one of the more memorable tests from an illustrious career as Johnson arguably became the first Australian to put his stamp on the Ashes since the 2006/07 series.
Johnson went on to take 37 wickets at an average of 13.97, earning himself the title as ‘Player of the series’ and leading Australia to a five-nil series victory over England.
It was certainly the summer of Mitch.
He had the bouncer, the swagger, the banter and who could forget the ‘mo’.
After retiring on Tuesday, those are just some of the things we will miss most about Mitchell Johnson.
Written by Todd Lewis @toddlewis23