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Mitchell Johnson rested for opening ODI against England

Mitchell gives England a break

Mitchell Johnson: A potent threat for Australia in the Ashes series

England were handed some respite from Mitchell Johnson after the Australia paceman was rested for the opening one-day international on Sunday.

Johnson wreaked havoc during the Ashes series, taking 37 wickets at an average of 13.97 as Australia inflicted a humiliating whitewash on England.

England's batsmen were braced for another pace barrage during the ODI matches, but selectors have decided to give Johnson a break in this weekend's opener at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

National selector John Inverarity said: "Mitch has had a brilliant summer with the Test side and while he is a crucial member of the ODI squad it is important that he has a bit of a break now.

"The (National Selection Panel) will be looking to provide a break, also, for most of the players in the ODI squad who played in the Tests against England."

But Australia coach Darren Lehmann later confirmed that Johnson would return for the second ODI in Brisbane on January 17.

"He'll play in Brisbane, definitely," he said. "It's one of his home towns so he'll play there.


"It's obviously been a very big summer for him. So we'll just give him a short little break and make sure he's getting fresh for the other one-dayers.

"It's important that we put the best side that we possibly can out, but understanding that it's been a hectic five Test matches.

"Some of the Test boys especially are weary."

Lehmann also ruled out the possibility of resting a number of first-choice players in the same game as he looks to start building towards a home World Cup in 12 months' time.

"We'll sum it up as we go. We certainly don't want to go down the path we have previously where we've rested clumps of players," he said.

"We certainly want to pick and choose when we do it (rest players). We want them to play in their home state.

"We want to make sure we put together a good squad looking ahead to the World Cup.

"This one-day format is very important for us. It give some guys and opportunity that we think are going to get to the World Cup."