Former Australia fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson has criticized David Warner's upcoming farewell Test series against Pakistan, questioning the decision to allow the struggling opener to choose his own retirement date and receive a hero's send-off despite his involvement in the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
In his column for 'The West Australian,' Johnson expressed his dissatisfaction with Warner's farewell, particularly given the player's lack of ownership of the ball-tampering scandal that led to a 12-month ban.
Johnson delved into Warner's role in the scandal, highlighting his senior position in the team at the time and his failure to fully acknowledge his part in the controversy. He questioned whether Warner's departure warranted a celebratory farewell, describing it as "underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country."
Johnson emphasized the importance of a player's conduct and how they carry themselves in addition to their statistical achievements. He criticized Warner's recent Test form, pointing out that while he has a decent overall record, his performance in the past three years has been ordinary.
The former fast-bowler also raised concerns about chief selector George Bailey's handling of Warner, suggesting that Bailey's close relationship with some players, having played alongside them, might be influencing the decision-making process.
Warner, who recently expressed his desire to end his Test career during the series against Pakistan, was named in Australia's 14-player squad for the first Test against Pakistan at Optus Stadium in Perth.
(With Agency Inputs)