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Warne: Johnson "as good as any in the last 20 years" Published: 10 March 2014

Shane Warne during a coaching session in the MCC Academy
Shane Warne during a coaching session in the MCC Academy

Mitchell Johnson is the "number one bowler in the world at the moment" according to former Australia spin bowler Shane Warne.

After firing Australia to a series win against South Africa, Warne believes Johnson has moved ahead of Dale Steyn as the world’s premier fast bowler, and sees the left-arm quick performing as well as anyone in the past two decades.

"Mitchell Johnson is bowling as good as anyone in the last 20 odd years that I’ve been around" said Warne, who was speaking after running a coaching session for young cricketers in the MCC Academy at Lord's.

"He’s bowling it super fast, he’s reverse swinging it around, his bowling is up to 100mph, he’s set the benchmark right now."

After being dropped from the Australian team and missing the 2013 Ashes in England, Johnson was recalled for the return series Down Under, and spearheaded Australia's 5-0 series victory.

He then led the way as Australia defeated South Africa 2-1 in a dramatic series away from home.

Mitchell Johnson is bowling as good as any in the last 20 odd years that I’ve been around

Addressing the debate over who is better out of Johnson or Steyn, Warne, who was brought into the Australian camp ahead of the deciding third Test as a spin bowling coach, is firmly backing his countryman.

"Steyn has rightly been the number one bowler in the world for a number of years, but after the way Johnson bowled in South Africa, I think he’s just pipped him.

"Johnson has set the benchmark now, he’s probably number one in the world."

Shane Warne will appear at Lord's this summer as captain of the Rest of the World side, who will take on MCC on Saturday 5 July in a 50-over Lord's Bicentenary celebration match.

Warne: "Johnson as good as any in last 20 years"


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