David Warner vs Mitchell Johnson: Ponting offers solution to resolve ugly spat | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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David Warner vs Mitchell Johnson: Ponting offers solution to resolve ugly spat - 'Get them both in a room and...'

Dec 07, 2023 09:38 PM IST

Ricky Ponting spoke in detail about Mitchell Johnson's scathing remarks on David Warner's Test farewell ahead of the series against Pakistan.

Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson ignited controversy last week when he strongly criticized his ex-teammate David Warner ahead of the latter's ‘farewell’ Test series against Pakistan. In an explosive rant against the Australia opener, Johnson questioned the decision to grant Warner a Test farewell, citing his recent struggles in red-ball cricket and accusing him of not taking responsibility for the 2018 ball-tampering scandal. Johnson stated that despite five years passing, Warner has not fully “acknowledged” his role in the scandal, and his farewell seems characterized by “arrogance and disrespect” to the country.

Ricky Ponting (R) spoke about Mitchell Johnson's scathing criticism of David Warner(Files)
Ricky Ponting (R) spoke about Mitchell Johnson's scathing criticism of David Warner(Files)

Johnson's comments stirred debate across social media platforms with Australia's chief selector George Bailey, as well as Warner's opening partner Usman Khawaja, backing the Aussie senior batter. While Warner has remained tight-lipped over the controversy so far, Johnson's outburst at the Australian star wasn't his first; the former quick had earlier criticised Warner's selection in Ashes 2023 as well.

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Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has now opened up on the bitter saga between two greats of the country, stating that he might have to “mediate” between the two to cool the situation down. Ponting insisted that it is not ideal for Australian cricket that two of its star cricketers are engaged in a public spat.

“I have to get in between these two guys at some stage... I think I need to be the mediator and get them both in a room and let them have it out rather than playing it out in the media. They’re both pretty feisty characters and we know this issue that’s come up now goes back six or eight months, back to the Ashes selection," Ponting told Sunrise.

“That’s where it all started. It sounds like an issue that’s gone on without either of them sitting down and having a face-to-face conversation. I’d like to see that happen," he further stated.

As Australia continue to prepare for the first Test – that begins December 14 – Warner will hope his bat will do the talking, much as it did during the recent World Cup in India when his mountain of runs helped Australia to a record sixth title. Test runs have been much harder to come by in recent years for the Australian opener, barring a brilliant double-century in his 100th Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against South Africa nearly a year ago.

However, as has long been in Warner's favour, replacements remain thin on ground, with none of the usual names producing compelling cases to dislodge one of the nation's all-time best openers.

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