Mitchell Johnson to miss final ODI against India; flies home for Ashes preparation
Left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson has been released from Australia's one-day tour of India to start his Ashes preparation early.
Mitchell Johnson, the joint highest wicket-taker in the Australia-India ODI series, will miss the seventh and deciding match at Bangalore, Nov 2, to prepare for the Ashes series.
Johnson will fly out of India on Thursday night, missing Saturday's series-deciding fixture in Bangalore, and arrive back in Perth on Friday.
The 31-year-old is not believed to have any injury concerns, and the early exit is purely to ensure he is available for Western Australia's Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia starting next Wednesday.
Cricket Australia's General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard said Johnson will return to Australia to prep for the longer form cricket as he stakes his claim for selection in the Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series.
"Mitch has performed very well in India, however, we believe it is best for his preparation ahead of a busy summer to have him return home to increase his bowling loads in preparation for the Ashes Test window," CA's general manager of team performance, Pat Howard, said in a statement.
Johnson shares the highest wicket-takers spot in the ongoing ODI series with India's Vinay Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin. The three of them have taken seven wickets each but Johnson has the best average and economy rate.
India and Australia are tied 2-2 in the seven-match series and the decider will be played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium Saturday.
Australia's Ashes preparation has hit by injury woes with four seamers set to miss most, or all, of the Ashes.
Australia will be without injured foursome James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird and Pat Cummins for the start of the Ashes due to back injuries. Pattinson and Bird are expected to be fit for the later Tests.