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Ashes hero Johnson rested by Australia

January 09, 2014 11:19:36 UK

England will be spared facing Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in the first one-day international in Melbourne on Sunday.

The 32-year-old claimed a devastating 37 wickets in the recent 5-0 Ashes series rout of the tourists but will be given time off to recharge his batteries, with the tour of South Africa looming.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann said he was keen to let some of his Test-winning squad take stock but ruled out making the same wholesale changes of last summer.

“It’s obviously been a big summer for him so we’re just giving him a short little break, making sure he’s getting fresh for the other one-dayers as well [as the Tests],” Lehmann said of Johnson. “It’s important we put the best side we possibly can out understanding it’s been a hectic five Test matches and some of the Test boys especially are a bit weary.”

He added: “We’ll sum it up as we go. We certainly don’t want to go down the path previously where we’ve rested clumps of players.”

Johnson is expected to return for the second one-day international at the Gabba in Brisbane on 17th Janaury.

“We want to make sure he’s fresh for the other one-dayers,” Lehmann added. “He’ll play in Brisbane, definitely. It’s one of his home towns so he’ll play there.”

Australia can be backed at 1.50 to win the first one-day international and England are currently priced 2.62.

Australia v England ODI series:
12th January: First ODI, Melbourne
17th January: Second ODI, Brisbane
19th January: Third ODI, Sydney
24th January: Fourth ODI, Perth
26th January: Fifth ODI, Adelaide

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