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Mitchell Johnson picks his Australian skipper for 2019 World Cup

"He might not be your typical first-choice captain."

Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Australia are still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel ever since the ball-tampering scandal in the Newlands Test. And it goes without saying that time is running out for them with the World Cup in England and Wales knocking on the doors. After the shambolic incident in South Africa, they haven’t been able to win a single series under the leadership of Tim Paine and Aaron Finch.

Paine was initially the skipper of the limited-overs team as well following which Finch took over. However, the Victorian hasn’t been able to turn around their fortunes. Recently, they lost the ODI and Test series against India and are next scheduled to play the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

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In the meantime, former Australian cricketer, Mitchell Johnson has picked Glenn Maxwell as the captain for the World Cup, starting May 30. The 37-year-old didn’t hesitate in saying that his choice may come as a surprise to many but reckons Maxwell is a deep thinker.

The retired speedster put forth his leadership abilities for Melbourne Stars in the ongoing edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). “My decision to pick Glenn Maxwell as captain might raise eyebrows. He might not be your typical first-choice captain, though clearly, Melbourne Stars have seen something in Maxwell. Leadership has helped him mature, helped to settle him and bring the best out of him.

I think we need our sportsmen to have a certain presence and have the confidence to give their opinion in a team environment and he definitely does that. More importantly, Maxwell is a cricket tragic who loves the game and thinks deeply about it,” Johnson was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

He reads the game well and that’s essential for a captain

Johnson and Maxwell have played together on quite a few instances. Both were a part of the victorious Aussies squad that played the 2015 World Cup. They have also plied their trade for Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). Johnson told that Maxwell prefers to think out of the box and likes of voice his opinions in team meetings.

“I spent a lot of time with Maxwell in the IPL at both Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab and he was always very vocal in team meetings… particularly with planning such as fielding positions for certain players. He knows opposition players very well and he doesn’t forget much.

He reads the game well and that’s essential for a captain. Maxi is not a leader who will just let things roll on, either. He thinks outside the square. He is 30 now and knows the game inside out,” he added.

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