News overnight from Cricket Australia Towers that Mitchell Johnson is returning home early from India to prepare for the Ashes confirms what must be the worst kept secret in cricket, and something I commented on earlier this week, that the Australian team has already been selected for the first test of the Ashes.
If you don’t agree with that then consider this: the series in India is presently drawn at 2-2 with one game to play and Johnson has been Australia’s best bowler. Given the apparent importance placed on this series by Sutherland and Invers could there be any other reason for his return other than the fact that he is in the team already?
Removing him from India removes him from the prospect of another shocking run chase and the mental scarring that comes from that which will be vital if Johnson is to perform in the Ashes.
I salute CA for this move. I don’t agree with Johnson’s selection and think moving him back to Australia makes a mockery of a series that has been indicative of the shambolic state of the administration of the game in this country. However if he is to feature in the tests he has to be mentally right and the best place for him to get right is at home.