Cricket legend Mitchell Johnson says he would make three big changes to the line-up as Australia look to secure the Ashes… so does David Warner make the cut?
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Former Aussie Test cricket star Mitchell Johnson has revealed the three changes he would make to the Australian side ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
Throughout his impressive career, Johnson terrorised English batsmen with his lethal pace and left-arm swing, becoming a key player for Australia.
In the 2013-14 Ashes series, he took 37 wickets at an average of 13.97, making it one of the most dominant displays by a fast bowler in the history of the tournament.
Now the former Test legend believes the Aussies are well-placed ahead of the Old Trafford Test – but there’s just a few changes he would make if he was in charge.
Johnson believes there’s three key areas the selectors need to address – David Warner’s opening spot, the all-rounder’s role and what to do with the bowling attack.
Mitchell Johnson has revealed some of the changes he would make to the Australian side ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford later this week
Johnson says he’d drop David Warner due to his form and replace him with Marcus Harris
‘Put simply, Warner goes out because he’s out of form, Michael Neser comes in because he’s in form and Mitch Marsh retains his place for the same reason,’ Johnson wrote in The West Australian.
‘I would opt for Marcus Harris to open the batting with Usman Khawaja and Neser to replace Scott Boland, with Cam Green missing out despite declaring himself fit to play.
‘Neser’s confidence will be high after another century in County cricket this week and he has bowled well there and in Australia last summer, when he took 40 wickets in eight Sheffield Shield games at 16.7.’
Indeed, Neser has reminded selectors of his worth, hitting a career-best unbeaten 176 for Glamorgan during a week away from the Test camp.
The Queenslander hit 25 boundaries and two sixes in his superb knock, bringing up his fourth first-class ton.
‘The Green v Marsh quandary is a tough one and a big call to make either way, but I have Marsh ahead,’ said Johnson.
‘Green wasn’t at his best in the first two Tests and may be a bit tired physically and mentally after a lot of cricket, including the Indian Premier League, and also the relentless pressure of the all-rounder’s job.
‘Marsh went through this early in his career when he was peppered with criticism, which is draining day in and day out, on top of having to remain switched on for such a big proportion of any Test match.’
Johnson said he’d go with Mitch Marsh over Cam Green for the all-rounder role
Johnson believes in form Queenslander Michael Neser has earned a place in the side
‘Johnson also believes the Aussies need to back spinner Toddy Murphy and give him more of the ball.
‘The fact he was trusted with just 7.3 and two overs in the last Test was a little concerning,’ he said.
‘I can see why Cummins might have been reluctant to bowl Murphy, given England could have targeted him, but Nathan Lyon had success.
‘While there’s a gulf in experience between Lyon and Murphy, the 22-year-old has shown early signs that he is very capable.’
The fourth Ashes Test begins on Wednesday July 19 at Old Trafford.