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The WHY and the WILL behind the Bouncer

October 27, 2016

Mitchell Johnson …Admits that he was never the same bowler after the death of Phillip Hughes … see  “Resilient Mitchell Johnson’s ups and downs ,” … at Cricket | ESPN Cricin = http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/story/1063489.html

Resilient Johnson’s ups and downs

Johnson was in Perth when the news came through that Hughes had been struck in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG. In the coming days as it became apparent how grave the situation was, he jumped on a plane to Sydney. When Johnson landed and switched on his phone, he learned that Hughes had died. “I just sat there with my cap pulled down and cried as everybody got off the flight”.mitch-11

5.12.2013 - Ashes 2nd Test, Australia v England, Adelaide Oval - Day 3 Mitchell Johnson celebrates his 5th wicket that of Graeme Swann caught Clarke.

5.12.2013 – Ashes 2nd Test, Australia v England, Adelaide Oval – Day 3 Mitchell Johnson celebrates his 5th wicket that of Graeme Swann caught Clarke. 

 

5.12.2013 - Ashes 2nd Test, Australia v England, Adelaide Oval - Day 3 Mitchell Johnson celebrates his 5th wicket that of Graeme Swann caught Clarke.

5.12.2013 – Ashes 2nd Test, Australia v England, Adelaide Oval – Day 3 Mitchell Johnson celebrates his 5th wicket that of Graeme Swann caught Clarke.

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The emotional aftermath put cricket into perspective, and JohnsonThe WHY and the WILL said he was not alone in struggling to commit to the game following the death of Hughes. As a fast bowler who was expected to intimidate batsmen, the ground had forever shifted. When Australia played the delayed first Test against India and Johnson struck Virat Kohli on the helmet with a bouncer, he felt sick.

“I couldn’t summon up any aggression and I don’t think I bowled a whole-hearted bouncer for the rest of that game. I struggled in the following game, too, and I am not sure if I have ever bowled one in the same way since. You have to mean it when you do it. You bowl the short ball to intimidate people. You want them to take evasive action and you want them to be frightened of getting on the front foot after that. Those are the facts of the situation and in the aftermath of what happened to Hughesy it seemed almost impossible or irresponsible to have that intent.”

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