Mumbai, Nov 17:
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was among several people who heaped praise on Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson, who retired from international cricket in Perth on Tuesday.
The left-arm pacer, who is his country’s fourth highest Test wicket-taker, informed his teammates of the decision on Monday night, saying that after 73 Tests he felt it was the right time to walk away from the game.
Tendulkar, who played alongside Johnson during the pacer’s stint at Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), termed the 34-year-old bowler as someone special.
“Good luck to Johnson who has always been a special bowler. Got to know him well at Mumbai Indians and enjoyed his aggressive approach!” Tendulkar tweeted.
Johnson concluded his career with 313 Test wickets, also scalping two on Tuesday, and is behind Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708) on the list of Australia’s greatest wicket-takers.
“I feel now is the best time to say goodbye. I have been lucky enough to have had a wonderful career and enjoyed every moment of playing for my country. It’s been an incredible ride. But the ride has to come to an end at some point and to do so here at the WACA is very special,” Johnson said.
Apart from Tendulkar, former and current cricketers also lauded the pacer’s achievements.
“Brings tears to my eyes to think that I won’t play again with my great mate Johnson. Great team man, great friend and cricket legend,” Australia all-rounder Shane Watson tweeted.
Brett Lee said: “A massive congratulations to Johnson on a wonderful career. It was incredible to play in the same team as you. Well done mate. Happy retirement! #legend…”
Former Australia bowler Ryan Harris tweeted: “Massive congrats to great mate Johnson on a fantastic career. Will be a few batsmen in the world breathing easier! Congrats mate!”
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar wrote: “Will miss Mitchell Johnson. They don’t make many like him anymore. The fast, scary kind.”
Former Australia pacer Damien Fleming tweeted: “Unemotional scenes from Johnson at WACA.”
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke said, “What an athlete! One of the best I ever played with.”
South Africa one-day captain AB de Villiers tweeted: “Incredible athlete! Congrats on a magnificent career Johnson.” (IANS)