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Blame mother for Johnson’s poor form

Test greats Kim Hughes and Shane Warne believe Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson’s Ashes tour in England is being torn apart by a public split with his mother, reports said on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Jul 23, 2009 23:52 IST

Test greats Kim Hughes and Shane Warne believe Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson’s Ashes tour in England is being torn apart by a public split with his mother, reports said on Thursday.

Johnson’s spectacular loss of form — he has taken eight wickets for 331 runs in the opening two Tests — has been blamed for Australia’s poor start to the five-Test series.

Johnson, 27, arrived in England as Australia’s premier pace spearhead but former Test skipper Hughes said his confidence has hit ‘rock-bottom’ since his spat with his mother.

Vikki Harber, 45, made headlines earlier this month when she said her son had been stolen from her by his karate champ fiancee, Jessica Bratich.

Harber told the Herald Sun her once close relationship with her son had deteriorated since he started going out with Bratich.

While pundits say there are some technical issues involved in Johnson’s loss of form, Hughes believes the young quickie has been deeply affected by his mother's comments.

“I found it incredibly surprising that his mum said what she did — Mitchell Johnson is a pretty sensitive young man and now it looks like he is totally devoid of self-confidence," Hughes told the Daily Telegraph.

“That really added some extra pressure and he is a young man who has got other things on his mind. When you lose confidence in yourself, all of a sudden there are technical things that you lose as well.”