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‘Virat Kohli Hit Back at Sledging, Joe Root Would Smile’ – Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson recently went into a Twitter banter with English cricketer Kevin Pietersen and subsequently was blocked by the Englishman.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli of India exchanges words with bowler Mitchell Johnson. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Mitchell Johnson has been hogging the headlines ever since Australia’s thumping victory in the opening Test of the Ashes at the Gabba in Brisbane. He recently went into a Twitter banter with English cricketer Kevin Pietersen and subsequently was blocked by the Englishman.

Apart from the Twitter slugfest, Mitchell Johnson had also been involved in several heated altercations, both on and off the field. In a recent column for The Telegraph by the former Aussie fast-bowler, he went down memory lane to recall some of his incidents of sledging on the field.

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In the column, he compared several cricketers and their approach towards sledging. He also highlighted his war of words with Stuart Broad during the Ashes. “Stuart Broad had a dig at me once when I was batting at the non-striker’s end. “You’ve lost it mentally,’ he said, ‘you’re still the same’. “He tried to put me off my game – and I did not mind that, in fact, I like it about the game. As long as it is not personal,” Johnson recalled.

He also remarked about Virat Kohli and Joe Root in his column. “Virat Kohli used to bite back a bit, Joe Root would smile, but Broad’s comments are about all the sledging I can remember in Ashes cricket,” he added. Johnson also mentioned about how his approach towards sledging changed as his career progressed.

Aggression- An USP for Johnson

“In the first half (of my career), I used to drop my shoulders, and that would tell the batsmen in the middle – and the ones waiting in the changing room – that something was wrong. In the second half of my career, I learned it was all about good body language.” added the Aussie. “I would puff my chest out, keep my head up, and if the batsman got any inside edge or something, I would let him know he was lucky.”- Johnson quoted.

Sledging has been part and parcel of Australian cricket ever since they forayed into international cricket. The infamous Bodyline series is still etched in the memories. However, as per the saying ‘excess of nothing is good’ sledging should be done in a sporting way and shouldn’t lead to ugly consequences like the 2008 Monkeygate scandal.

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