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‘Maybe He’s Trying to Trick his Own Mind’: Mitchell Johnson Hits Back at Joe Root

With less than a week to go for the Ashes series between Australia and England, the back and forth between the players, both past and present, has increased as they try to win the mental battle before taking the field

The latest battle of words involves the visiting skipper Joe Root and veteran Australian seamer Mitchell Johnson. It started after Root claimed that the Gabba is no longer the Australian team’s fortress following defeat at the hands of India.

Ajinkya Rahane-led Team India during, their 2020-21 tour Down Under, ended Australia’s 32-year-old winning streak by inflicting a soul-crushing three-wicket loss to the hosts at Gabba.

To make the matters worse, India achieved the feat by chasing down a mammoth total of 329 runs on the last day. England’s last victory at Gabba came 35 years ago. But Root is confident that the English team can upset Australia by recording their first win at the venue since 1986 by taking a leaf out of India’s playbook.

Mitchell Johnson, who terrorised the English team in the 2013-14 Ashes series by taking 37 wickets, does not agree with Root’s analysis. Johnson went on to say that India’s win should not mean anything to England and Gabba remains Australia’s stronghold.

“Maybe he’s trying to trick his own mind into thinking that because India played well there that they should be okay. But I think he’s trying to fool his own mind. It’s still a stronghold from our point of view, from an Australian (point of view). Even from the perspective of someone just watching the game, who hasn’t played in a while, you know the Gabba’s hot,” Johnson told Wide World of Sports.

Root during an interview with the Guardian had said that India’s win have given them the much-needed confidence to defeat Australia in the first Test, which will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.

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