Johnson set for final return


Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Mitchell Johnson looks set to make his Australia comeback in next week’s Tri-Series final – a potential reunion with England.

Johnson has missed all three of the host nation’s games so far, having been given time off for undisclosed personal reasons.

He has been back in the nets in Sydney but, with Australia already qualified for the showpiece, the paceman looks likely to sit out Monday’s game against India.

Should England be their final opponents, it seems likely 33-year-old Johnson – their Ashes tormentor in 2013/14 – will be waiting for them at the WACA.

Captain George Bailey said: “I faced him last night and that’s never pleasant, so his pace was still pretty good.

“He’s had another hit out today and he’s going reasonably well. I don’t think he’ll play (against India), he’ll be building up for Perth.

“He’s really close and knowing how excited the quicks get in Perth I’d imagine he’d be pretty keen to have a crack there.”

Bailey also hinted at possible recalls for all-rounder Mitch Marsh and seamer Josh Hazlewood, both World Cup squad members who have been injured and rested respectively during the Tri-Series.

“(Marsh) has pulled up really well. He’s a good chance and if playing he’ll be expected to bowl,” Bailey said.

“(Hazlewood) bowled last night so he was as consistent as ever. It felt like his pace was really good.

“It was a short hit out for him today, but once again the pace was good and his rhythm was really good.

“He’s certainly keen to get back out there.”

Bailey’s own role in the side is up for debate, with the Tasmanian being in the unusual position of leading the team out or facing the axe if regular skipper Michael Clarke returns from injury.

But Bailey is unconcerned about the situation.

“If ‘Pup’ (Clarke) is there one of the batsmen makes way, if it’s me or someone else that’s how it is,” he said.

“If I’m not scoring runs and they pick him, that’s fine, that’s the nature of the game. You’re scoring runs or you’re not scoring runs – you get picked or you don’t. It’s a really basic equation.”

Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

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