Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Demise of Johnson

Mitchell Johnson debuted against Sri Lanka in 2007 and made great impression both with his bowling potential and what a nice boy he was. He has delivered with the former and we have witnessed the initial step in the career of a great bowler. Steady development bloomed into a first rash of success, (exemplified in South Africa), a temporary setback of form, (the second test at Lords was a shocker), in which pedigree has prevailed. We have a class bowler who in his last outing at Hamilton picked up 10 wickets. Further Johnson has endeared himself to the batophilic world with the revelation of his fine strokesmanship. The charming young man who introduced himself has suffered a disappointing development of character though and tragically slumped into bogan status. The latest evidence of this is a coloured ink job that adorns the right arm and appears to be some sort of fish or dragon executed in the faux Asian style. The confusion over the animal is that it appears to be caught in a net but is also bedecked with flames.


It is difficult to clearly chart the disinegration of Johnson's moral fibre. A quick survey of the internet offers telling influence though.


The apparent change occured in Johnson during the most recent Ashes tour. The resplendent hero of South Africa and heir apparent in leading Australia's bowling attack inexplicably fell to pieces. The reasons for this are the matter of Woman's Realm, what concerns us is how the man countered this setback. Rather than face his problem with humility or diligently devote himself to his craft, Johnson carried himself the brute's way, with arrogance. Of course the only way to explain oneself after doleing out loose delivery after another is to hoot at the batsman. And so the young lad turned nasty and developed into a cawing ninny.


Unfotunately like the child pulling faces in a changing wind, Johnson's lamentable lapse of character has stuck. The man is a fine cricketer with an exciting mature career ahead of him. I don't mean to traverse the avenues of gossip but may I indulge in a memorable moment from my attendance of the test against the West Indies this summer? A broiling summer's day, the fourth of the match and perhaps the best of the summer, was usurped by the great commotion generated in the Member's Stand on the appearance of Jessica Bratich. Drama had caked the heavy air as the West Indies threatened to claw their way to an unlikely victory. Drama dissembled with the removal of Deonarine. Sensation overtook with the arrival of Miss. Jessica. The midday's pitch of heat gave way to the golden warmth of late afternoon accompaned by an ocean breeze, the ground's salvation. And their in our midst was celebrity, sauntering into the magnificent day's afterglow in an orange summer dress. She didn't watch much of the game but as I discretely glanced at the lady among the craning necks of my fellow citizens, what struck me was the devotion, (which I imagined), that lay behind those fancy looking sunshades. As the all-but-victorious Australian side came from the field, this sylvan dame leaned across the metal barrier which seperates spectator from god, and he, relaxed masculine Titan, indolently paused to converse with his beloved. No doubt they discussed something terribly quotidian like dinner plans or where the car was parked but all us mortals gazed on in envy and in one folorn sigh exclaimed, 'Here is one to be envied. A man who has the adoration of his lady.'

The Twenty Twenty world championship will be our first oppurtunity to witness the latest folly that adorns Johnson's arm and no doubt we will jeer and scoff. Character is important though. This is what transforms prowess into elegance. And for Johnson the pretty bird has flown.

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