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Lehmann casts doubt on Johnson's World T20 participation

Johnson has been struggling for fitness after a cut on the big toe on his right foot became infected.

Reuters |March 16, 2014, 10:58 AM IST
Lehmann casts doubt on Johnson's World T20 participation

Mitchell Johnson's hopes of playing in the Twenty20 World Cup looked to be fading on Sunday when Australia coach Darren Lehmann cast doubt on whether the paceman would be fit enough to travel to Bangladesh.

Johnson, whose quick bowling fired Australia to a 5-0 Ashes sweep and a 2-1 Test series triumph in South Africa over the last few months, has been struggling for fitness after a cut on the big toe on his right foot became infected.

The initial prognosis was that his departure for the March 16-April 6 tournament would only be delayed but clearly Johnson was not making the sort of progress originally envisioned as he received treatment in Perth.

"He's still not great so we'll make a decision in the next couple of days," Lehmann told the Cricket Australia website from South Africa on Sunday.

"If he's not healthy enough to travel, he won't travel. The medicos are all over that back home and here so we'll have to wait a couple of days to see how he responds to antibiotics and all that.

"Health is a bit more important than a game of cricket so, if we have to cover him, we'll cover him."

Johnson is a top quality performer in the shortest form of the game and his absence would be a blow to Australia's hopes of finally snaring the one major international cricket trophy they have never won.

James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Josh Hazlewood are among the pace bowlers who would be in the frame for a call-up if Johnson is not able to travel.

Allrounder James Faulkner, who missed the Test tour of South Africa because of knee surgery, was another injury doubt but is expected to be fit to play. Australia open their campaign against Pakistan in Mirpur on March 23.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3466 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 4820 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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