Johnson Begins Ashes Preparation Early

Johnson Begins Ashes Preparation Early
Mitchell Johnson is heading home from India to begin preparations for the Ashes
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson is to be given every opportunity to press his claim for an Ashes berth by returning home from the limited overs tour of India.

While his team-mates head to Bangalore for the decisive seventh match on Saturday (2nd November), Johnson will fly home to focus on training for first-class cricket.

"Mitch has performed very well in India, however, we believe it is best for his preparation ahead of a busy summer to have him return home to increase his bowling loads in preparation for the Ashes Test window,”  Cricket Australia General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard said.

Johnson played in the fourth and final Test against India in March this year but was not involved in the Ashes contest in England, despite having played in both 2009 and 2010/11.

His withdrawal from the tour of India comes on the back of news that England's third warm-up game will now be against an Invitational XI in Sydney, for which Johnson may well be in the frame.

To date, he has played 51 Test matches and taken 205 wickets at an average of 30.57. However, against England, he has taken 35 wickets at 34.42 with a best of six for 38, achieved at Perth in 2010.

© Cricket World 2013

Fixtures & Results

21st-25th November: 1st Test, Gabba, Brisbane

AUS 295 & 401-7d. beat ENG 136 & 179 by 381 runs
5th-9th December: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

AUS 570-9d & 132-3d beat ENG 172 & 312 by 218 runs
13th-17th December: 3rd Test, WACA, Perth

AUS 385 & 369-8 d. beat ENG 251 & 353 by 150 runs
26th-30th December: 4th Test, MCG, Melbourne

AUS 204 & 231-2 beat ENG 255 & 179 by 8 wickets
3rd-7th January: 5th Test, SCG, Sydney

AUS 326 & 274 beat ENG 155 & 166 by 281 runs