EXCLUSIVE: “I think I have a lot of cricket left in me”- Johnson

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By Avenash Ramzan

Discarded West Indies batsman Leon Johnson still believes he has a lot to offer to the Caribbean side, and will be using the upcoming Four-day season to work his way back into the Test team.

Johnson, a left-handed middle-order batsman, forced his way back into the West Indies Test team last year after topping the runs chart in the 2015/2016 Professional Cricket League Four-day tournament, playing for the Guyana Jaguars.

However, he was forced to bat out of position as an opener, making only 128 runs in five Test matches with a highest of 47 against Pakistan in Dubai. He was swiftly dropped after that tour in August last year, and is now looking to regain his spot.

“Yes definitely. I mean I’m only 29-years-old; I think I have a lot of cricket left in me. The ultimate goal is to not just get back into the West Indies team, but to perform the way I know I can perform at the international level,” Johnson told News Room Sport on Thursday.

After being sacked, Johnson endured a lean run in the final half of the First-Class season this year, amassing just 91 runs in five games with a highest of 33 against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the final round at Providence.

The Guyana Jaguars captain was very candid about his performance, which he blamed on a lack of confidence.

“As you would have mentioned the results weren’t good after coming back from Dubai. You go through those things sometimes, but I think 10 games were a bit too much not to get decent scores and maintain a place in the Test team,” Johnson explained.

He continued, “But I think it came down a bit to a lack of confidence; I lost a bit of confidence going into the second round (second half of PCL). I mean I had a decent one day tournament (two fifties in the Super50) and before that I got a couple of half-centuries in the Four-day games (first half) but I had a few low scores and lost a bit of confidence. Thankfully the team still performed well and that took a bit of pressure off me.” 

With the prolonged rainy season in Guyana eliminating the possibility of games and turf practice, Johnson is spending time in the gym whipping himself into top fitness ahead of the upcoming First-Class season, set to start in November. 

Johnson has played nine Test matches, scoring 403 runs at an average of 25 with two fifties. His highest of 66 came on debut against Bangladesh in 2014.

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