Perth - Former captain Mark Taylor says
Australia has lost two of its greatest fast bowlers in less than six months.
Express left-hander Mitchell Johnson
retired from international cricket on the final day of the second Test against
New Zealand at the WACA Ground, ending his 73 match career.
His decision follows the retirement of
reliable right-armer Ryan Harris in July, due to a knee problem.
Between them the pair managed 424 Test
wickets, with Johnson claiming 311 to be fourth on the list of Australian
wicket-takers and Harris, a late-comer to test cricket, picking up 113.
Taylor said Johnson deserved to be rated in
the very top echelon of Australian fast bowlers and said his retirement would
compound the loss of Harris, who was clearly missed during the Ashes loss in
"He's right up there for the real
genuine fast bowlers, doing what he does and bowling the way he bowls," he
said of Johnson.
"His partnership with Ryan Harris is
statistically one of the best of all-time, and they were a great combination.
"When you think about it, Australian
cricket has lost a great partnership."
Taylor said he felt like Johnson's form had
been deteriorating since the latter stages of this year's Ashes pitches.
"Doing what he does is tough on the
body," he said.
"I saw the writing on the wall towards
the end of the Ashes series, the wickets towards the end of the series didn't
suit him and he wasn't at the best. “I felt he was losing that real desire to
"Once you heard his comments before
this match you felt he was half-way out the door."
He said his favourite Johnson memory was a
spell in Adelaide in 2003 where he took five wickets in quick succession and
removed England's captain Alastair Cook.