David Warner, the stalwart of Australian cricket, is set to conclude his test career, with a final game in Sydney this coming January. The decision has stirred controversy, with former teammate Mitchell Johnson criticizing Warner's desire for a farewell series. The underlying tension between Warner and Johnson, stemming from past disagreements, has resurfaced amidst this debate.
Warner's Farewell Controversy
Johnson, in a column, put forth a critical perspective on Warner's retirement timing, labeling it as a move by a 'struggling test opener' to dictate his exit from the sport. He expressed disapproval of Warner's expected 'hero's send-off,' particularly in light of the cricketer's involvement in the notorious 'Sandpapergate' ball-tampering scandal in 2018. The scandal led to a year-long suspension for Warner, casting a long shadow over his cricketing career.
Warner's Future in Test Cricket
Despite Johnson's objections, Warner has been included in Australia's squad for the forthcoming test series. His participation in the Sydney test, however, remains contingent on his selection in the preceding matches. Warner's recent form has been inconsistent, with an average of 28 in test matches since a triple century against Pakistan in 2019. Although Warner aims to retire from test cricket, he intends to continue playing in limited-overs formats for Australia.
Impact of Johnson's Criticism
The ripples of Johnson's critique extend to George Bailey, the chief selector, whom Johnson accused of being 'too close' to some players. The former pacer also questioned the selection strategy of coach Andrew McDonald. The ongoing feud between Johnson and Warner adds another layer to this controversy, shedding light on the intricate dynamics within the Australian cricket fraternity.