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Mitchell Johnson runs towards David Warner after his ‘heroic send-off’.

Mitchell Johnson, a top-performing bowler, has publicly criticized David Warner for his behavior during his final Test series as an Australian teammate.

Today, Warner was selected to be a part of Australia’s 14-member team for the first men’s Test match of the season against Pakistan. The match will commence on December 14 in Perth.

Johnson, in his article for The West Australian, heavily criticized the Australian opener for their “hero send-off” and revisited the controversial “Sandpapergate” incident from 2018.

Warner has stated his wish to end his red-ball career at his hometown stadium, the SCG, during Australia’s match against Pakistan in the third and last Test of the series.

“Can someone explain to me why we are honoring David Warner’s farewell series? Why is a struggling Test opener allowed to choose their own retirement date?” Johnson questioned.

“Why does a player involved in one of the most significant scandals in the history of Australian cricket deserve a heroic farewell?”

Johnson continued his criticism by calling out Warner for his role in the well-known ball-tampering incident, which resulted in a 12-month suspension for the 37-year-old.

Johnson stated that while Warner was not the only one involved in Sandpapergate, he held a prominent position on the team and often abused his authority as a “leader.”

“The manner in which he is exiting is fueled by the same sense of entitlement and disregard for our nation. What kind of reception can Warner expect from fans? It’s likely that Bunnings would run out of sandpaper.”

They were teammates on the Australian team for over five years, competing in the 2013-14 Ashes series and winning the 2015 ODI World Cup. Johnson achieved 313 wickets in 73 Test matches for Australia and retired in November 2015.

His attack on Warner comes two years after he savaged Pat Cummins in his newspaper column amid the fallout from Justin Langer’s exit as Australian coach. The 42-year-old’s relationship with his fast-bowling brethren, Cummins and Mitchell Starc, has not been the same since.

The lineup announced today did not bring any unexpected changes, with Nathan Lyon returning to the Test team after recovering from a calf injury sustained during the Ashes. Australia will face Pakistan with their usual starting eleven.

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It is expected that experienced spinner Lyon will be the sole substitution from the fifth and last Ashes Test in July, taking the place of young tweaker Todd Murphy.

Lance Morris, a fast bowler from Western Australia, has been selected for the squad and is the sole potential newcomer.

It is probable that Mitchell Marsh will continue to hold the allrounder role at No 6 after his West Australian teammate Cameron Green was dropped during the Ashes.

Unless he gets injured, Warner is expected to begin the summer by partnering with Usman Khawaja, even though he has only scored one Test century since January 2020 – a notable 200 against South Africa in the Boxing Day match last year.

The Australian men’s team roster for the upcoming Perth Test against Pakistan includes players like David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Cameron Green, and Lance Morris.

Source: theguardian.com