Injured Johnson may miss Sydney Test

Injured Johnson may miss Sydney Test

Injured Johnson may miss Sydney Test

A sore hamstring has put Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson in doubt for the fourth and final Test beginning here from Tuesday. 

Johnson skipped Australia's first training session on Saturday since the Melbourne Test because of the heavy workload in the first three Tests and will have his fitness assessed closer to the start of the New Year’s Test.

Johnson, who ripped England to shreds with his incisive pace last summer, hasn’t been at his best in the series thus far, managing 13 wickets in three Tests. The left-arm quick, however, opened up the game at the Gabba with an incisive fast bowling that nipped off India’s top-order. 

The 33-year-old has spoken of the need to bowl in shorter bursts after bowling long spells in Adelaide and Melbourne where, he felt, didn’t have much in way of pace and bounce. In the event of Johnson missing the Test, Mitchell Starc, another left-arm pacer, will be the likely replacement.  

"It depends on the fitness levels of other blokes and how they pulled up from last week," Starc said on Saturday.  "I'll always prepare to play, and I feel like the ball's coming out well from the last two BBL games, I'll keep doing the same and preparing to go. It comes back to any cricket that I play, to keep taking wickets and preparing the best I can." Ryan Harris, who missed the second Test at Brisbane because of injury, said he too was pretty sore after the Melbourne Test but the longer gap between the third and final match has helped him a recover a bit.

"I was pretty sore after Melbourne - it's definitely helped," Harris said on Saturday.
"If it had have been a three-day turnaround it might have been tight again but to be able to have that extra couple of days is pretty good. Obviously I was quite sore the couple of days after. Today is probably the best I've felt. Still two and a half days out I'm confident I should be fine. Probably I'll have a good bowl tomorrow and then hopefully go out in the Test match."

India to train today

The Indian team, with Virat Kohli at its helm, will train for the first time on Sunday having enjoyed an extended break after the drawn third Test in Melbourne. Apart from a couple of meetings, including the one with Australia’s Prime minister Tony Abbott on Thursday, the team has remained mostly indoors.