Ashes: Ex-selector Hughes says Johnson should not be dropped

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Melbourne, Dec. 1 (ANI): Former Test selector Merv Hughes believes it would be a mistake to drop left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson from the Australian squad for the second Ashes Test to be played against England in Adelaide from Friday.

Hughes said that such a move would be unfathomable and would seriously dent Johnson’s confidence.

He believed Ben Hilfenhaus was the fast bowler under most pressure to retain his spot for the second Test against England starting Friday in Adelaide.

The ex-selector said Hilfenhaus’s performance (1-142) in the drawn Ashes opener in Brisbane was more disappointing than Johnson’s wicket-less match.

Hughes said expectations on Johnson were too high.

“Everyone is having a crack at Mitchell Johnson. Now, if other bowlers have taken wickets, you can point the finger at Mitch and say mate, you have got to lift your game. But, when no one takes wickets, none of the fast bowlers take wickets, there’s 11 (England) wickets taken for the match - understand that Adelaide is probably going to suit Mitchell Johnson a little bit better than Brisbane because it sort of slides on, his extra pace is going to be useful,” Hughes told Fox Sports.

“I think we are just starting to get too critical. We are starting to expect a lot from a young man that, yes, he has got talent, but really hasn’t matured or developed into the cricketer that he can be. And by cutting him short, and leaving him out of this Test match, it’s going to dent his confidence more than anything else,” Hughes added.

“Obviously he’s not bowling outrageously well. But I can’t fathom the people that think he should be dropped from this side,” Hughes said. (ANI)

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