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Teammates, opponents pay rich tribute to 'special' Johnson

Last updated on: November 17, 2015 14:59 IST
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'Will be a few batsmen in the world breathing easier!'

'We will never forget those ferocious spells'

Sachin Tendulkar and Mitchell Johnson

Image: Sachin Tendulkar and Mitchell Johnson at a Mumbai Indians' training session during the Indian Premier League. Photograph: IPL

Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar paid rich tribute to retiring Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson on Tuesday, describing him as a special bowler.

"Good luck to @MitchJohnson398 who has always been a special bowler. Got to know him well at @mipaltan and enjoyed his aggressive approach!" Tendulkar tweeted.

Aus speedster Johnson announces retirement from international cricket

The duo played together for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

Johnson announced on Tuesday that he would retire from international cricket at the end of the ongoing Test against New Zealand in Perth.

The 34-year-old will end his Test career after playing 73 Tests, in which he took 311 wickets, with 8 for 61 being his best effort.

In a 154-ODI career, Johnson snared 239 scalps, with 6 for 31 being his best figures. 

Australia Test captain Steve Smith speaks to pacer Mitchell Johnson

IMAGE: Australia Test captain Steve Smith speaks with pacer Mitchell Johnson. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Australia captain Steve Smith heaped praise on Johnson, describing the retiring pace spearhead as 'the ultimate professional'.

Smith revealed that Johnson had told his teammates and coach Darren Lehmann of his decision after play on the fourth day and said the left-hander had been contemplating about retirement quite a lot.

Although the skipper was surprised by Johnson's decision, he said the 34-year-old was a terrific athlete, the ultimate professional and an amazing fast bowler.

Reflecting more on his glorious career, Smith said Johnson changed the way Australian cricket was played and that it was a pretty amazing record to be the fourth-leading wicket taker for Australia for all-time in Test cricket.

He added that Johnson was an absolute nightmare to face when he used to swing the ball at a searing pace of 150 kph and thus the bowler deserves all the accolades he receives.

Johnson replaced Brett Lee as Australia's fourth highest wicket-taker when he dismissed Doug Bracewell in the Perth Test.

Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708) are the only bowlers to have taken more wickets. 

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson

IMAGE: Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australian cricketers, past and present too were effusive in their praise of Johnson.

Among others who acknowledged the speedster's contribution to the game were former Australian teammates Micheal Clarke, Shane Watson and Brett Lee.

‏@MClarke23: "What an athlete! One of the best I ever played with,” the former Australia captain tweeted.

"A massive congratulations to @mitchjohnson398 on a wonderful career. It was incredible to play in the same team as you. Well done mate. Happy retirement!,” former Australia bowler Lee posted on his Twitter handle.

Watson (@ShaneRWatson33 ) wrote: “Brings tears to my eyes to think that I won't play again with my great mate @MitchJohnson398. Great team man, great friend & cricket legend.”

Former Australia paceman Ryan Harris also tweeted: “Massive congrats to great mate @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career. Will be a few batsmen in the world breathing easier! Congrats mate!”

Former Australia bowler Damien Fleming wrote: “Big congrats to @MitchJohnson398 most hostile Fast bowling Cartel quick of generation #BatsmanBreathASighOfRelief.”

“Well played @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career... We will never forget those ferocious spells.. @CricketAus,” former Australia batsman Damien Martyn tweeted.

Mitchell Johnson

IMAGE: Mitchell Johnson. Photograph: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

The rest of the cricket world also took to Twitter to congratulate the Aussie speedster on the completion of a fantastic career.

Former England Test batsman Paul Collingwood (‏@Colly622) wrote: “@MitchJohnson398 bowled rockets and still does!! Congrats on scaring the life out of every batsmen around the world mate, it was great.”

South African players AB de Villiers and Faf Du Plessis, who are in Bengaluru for the second Test against India, made good use of a rained out morning session on Day 4 to send out wishes to Johnson.

“Incredible athlete! Congrats on a magnificent career @MitchJohnson398,” AB tweeted from his Twitter handle ‏@ABdeVilliers17

“Well done @MitchJohnson398 on a fantastic career.Great competitor and a incredible athlete.You can be very proud of what you achieved #gas,” Du Plessis posted.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote: ‏@MichaelVaughan : "All the England lads will be celebrating they won't have to face @MitchJohnson398 again in Australia.... Great career & a Great man."

Former India Test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said Johnson’s greatness lay in the fact that he was a scary bowler.

“Will miss Mitchell Johnson. They don't make many like him anymore. The fast, scary kind,” the former India Test player said.

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