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Ashes 2017: England have to think about changes before Boxing Day Test, says Mitchell Johnson

first_imgEngland have surrendered the Ashes after their star players once again failed to impress in Australia and Mitchell Johnson now believes Stuart Broad is not up to it at the moment and Alastair Cook still carried scars from their last series down under.Johnson was the wrecker-in-chief for Australia in 2013-14, picking up 37 wickets as Michael Clarke’s side whitewashed England 5-0. That was the last time Kevin Pietersen played Test cricket while Graeme Swann retired at the end of the Ashes.The question doing the rounds is if England will take some tough calls as they trail the series 3-0. Two more matches are yet to be played in Melbourne and Sydney and Joe Root would want to win at least one of those Tests.Johnson said it was important the England thinktank took some important decisions now. (Beer, smiles, family time: Australia celebrate Ashes triumph)”Going to the next Test I think England will have to think about changes,” the 36-year-old told Reuters after training with Big Bash side Perth Scorchers at the WACA.”I’m not sure if Broad is up to it at the moment. There will be some question marks around him, (as) a senior player.”Cook is someone who I think has been thinking about retirement. (Ashes 2017: England came over very weak without Ben Stokes, says Graeme Swann)”I just wonder now with the scoreline being 3-0 whether that will take a bit of pressure off him and he’ll just go out there and score runs. I’m not sure.advertisement”I think the scars are there from the last series.”Cook, who will be 33 when the Boxing Day Test starts, scored 766 runs in England’s 2010/11 triumph Down Under but struggled with the bat as captain during the 2013/14 series. (Ashes 2017: How unplayable was Mitchell Starc’s ‘ball of the century’?)He has managed only 83 runs in the current campaign at a paltry average of 13.83.Broad has only five wickets from the three matches at 61.80 runs apiece and came off his worst ever test figures in the third match at the WACA.With England’s lack of pace exposed on Australian wickets, Johnson doubted they could win in Melbourne or Sydney without a genuine quick, and urged selectors to recall Durham seamer Mark Wood.”I look forward to him playing if he gets the opportunity, they should pick him even if he’s slightly underdone,” Johnson said of 10-test Wood, who recovered from an ankle injury to bowl in the tour match in Perth.”From a pace point of view, someone bowling over 140-145 (km/hour) can definitely change the game.”Root, meanwhile, was a “great” player that had failed to stand up for his team with the bat while being saddled with a series of off-field distractions, said Johnson.The left-armer recalled his own wayward bowling during the 2009 Ashes in England when tabloids were awash with reports of a rift with his mother.He felt England’s boozy indiscretions during the current tour had probably taken a similar toll on their skipper’s on-field performance.”For me ’09 was a struggle when you have off-field things happening, personal things that have happened and they’re out in the public,” he said.”Because it’s the Ashes you’re definitely under the microscope a lot more. He’ll learn and he’ll definitely get better.”Johnson was naturally more generous in his praise of the home side and their captain, with Steve Smith leading brilliantly with a double-century in Perth and 426 runs for the series.The Ashes had been disappointing from a “fan’s point of view” but that was of little concern to Johnson, who enjoyed a number of fiery on-field exchanges with England players during his international days.”As an ex-player, I’d love to see a 5-0 (whitewash), I’m not really that fussed on what happens out in the middle.”I don’t like seeing close games when it’s against England, I just want to see them get thumped.” (With Reuters inputs)last_img

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