Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson made a joke about India captain Virat Kohli even as he was expressing his disappointment at the MCG pitch for the ongoing Boxing Day Test.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) pitch is under scrutiny once again. If the first day’s play of the ongoing Boxing Day Test between India and Australia is anything to go by, there will be more criticism over the nature of the wicket that the iconic venue has been offering in the recent past.
Notably, there was nothing for the bowlers, including the pacers and the lone spinner, on the opening day as Australian bowling unit worked hard without many rewards at the MCG, which was rated “poor” by the International Cricket Council following a boring Boxing Day Ashes Test draw last year.
India won the toss and opted to bat first despite a bit of grass covering at the MCG. In the lead up to the much-anticipated Boxing Day Test, all eyes were on the drop-in pitch as the ICC had rated a livelier wicket at the Perth Stadium used for the second Test “average”.
However, the MCG pitch, as feared, turned out to be docile. Indian openers, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari batted 18.5 overs together and made just 40. India managed only 215 runs at 2.42 despite losing only two wickets from 89 overs.
Former Australia cricketer Mitchell Johnson pulled a fast on Virat Kohli and joked that the India skipper should hang up his boots if he doesn’t cross the three-figure mark in the third match of the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Wednesday.
It all started with Johnson taking a dig at the MCG pitch by insinuating that it seem as flat as a road and the batsmen are going to make merry on the wicket.
One social media user called Johnson out and said that he was making excuses beforehand, knowing Kohli will go onto score a ton at the historic MCG.
So you’re giving excuses as you came to know that virat will score 100+ ????
— vishnu vardhan reddy (@reddyvishnu66) December 26, 2018
“No excuses, I’m not playing. If he doesn’t score 100-plus on this, he should retire,” Johnson wrote while replying to a fan’s comment.
Later, Mitchell Johnson made his account private due to criticism from Indian fans.
Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 47 (from 107) balls along with in-form Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 68 from 200 balls. The duo added 92 runs together and is expected to push India towards a huge first innings total on Thursday.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan also slammed the MCG pitch. Several Australian journalists chipped in as well, saying they feared what ICC’s rating for the MCG pitch is going to be, this time around.
The ICC rated the Perth Test Pitch Average … Give me that over the MCG pitch any day of the week !!!!!!! #AUSvIND
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 26, 2018