Mitchell Johnson returns to haunt ‘deflated’ England

tom collomosse
Plan of attack | Mitchell Johnson, England’s nemesis four years ago, chats to new Aussie pace hero Mitchell Starc at practice in Perth this morning: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Mitchell Johnson believes England are falling apart exactly as they did when he bowled Australia to a 5-0 Ashes whitewash three years ago.

Johnson took 37 wickets in the 2013-14 series, which ended the England careers of Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann and did decisive damage to those of Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior.

Alastair Cook captained England on that tour and is due to play his 150th Test this week at the WACA.

But with Australia knowing a win in Perth will ensure they regain the famous urn, Johnson predicted England’s former skipper was also close to the finishing line.

“Alastair Cook can’t find form and I’d say he’s thinking about retirement,” said Johnson, who spent time with Australia’s quick bowlers during their net sessions today.

“He has played nearly 150 Test matches. It must take it out of you. With England, it seems as though there is a lot of stuff going on off the field for them at the moment.

“There are a lot of distractions and I think they will be deflated from the last performance, because we reckoned their best chance of winning would be in Adelaide, where they lost.

“Joe Root is the captain and he will be doubting himself. There is a lot of pressure on him with what is happening outside the game.

“They don’t really have a lot going for them, to be honest.

“It’s easier to say it when you’re sitting on the outside, but that is just what I see.”