Mitchell Johnson preparing to bowl for the Scorchers during the Big Bash League
Mitchell Johnson preparing to bowl for the Scorchers during the Big Bash League ROB BLAKERS

Johnson happy to be ruled out of T20I series

CRICKET: Red-hot paceman Mitchell Johnson's chances of an international return via the Australian Twenty20 side have ended - and he's "happy" about it.

The comeback king who terrorised batsmen in the Big Bash League revealed the decision to play again for Australia has been made for him.

Interim Twenty20 coach Justin Langer has ruled him out of selection for the series against Sri Lanka last this month.

Though initially reluctant, the 35-year-old did consider coming out of international retirement after starring in the BBL with champions Perth Scorchers.

"I had a text this morning (Tuesday) from Justin just to let me know that I won't be picked in the Twenty20 side," Johnson told Fox Sports. "It takes a lot of pressure off me. I was hoping I wouldn't be asked so it's worked out perfectly for me.

"I did consider it, the thought of it.

"In the end, I've done my dash for Australia and I think it'd be a bit of backward step if I took up the opportunity."

Johnson snared 13 wickets in the 2016-17 BBL season at an average of 15.46 and an economy rate under six. He claimed the incredible 3-3 from four overs in the Scorchers' seven-wicket semi-final win over Melbourne Stars.

Johnson retired from Test cricket in November 2015. The 73-Test player welcomed being able to stay in international retirement.

"The T20 matches I've just played in the Big Bash, it's not as much pressure playing for the Scorchers whereas when you go and play for Australia, that pressure definitely, the intensity of it all just lifts," he said. "So I'm happy with the decision."

Australia meet Sri Lanka in the first of three matches at the MCG on February 17.

News Corp Australia


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