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Row with mother affecting Johnson, say Warne and Hughes

Posted By: Staff

London, July 24 (ANI): Australia's former Test skipper Kim Hughes and former leg spinner Shane Warne have said that main attack bowler Mitchell Johnson's confidence has hit 'rock-bottom' since the row with his mother became public.

Johnson has lost his form and so far has taken eight wickets for 331 runs in the opening two Ashes Tests. He has been largely blamed for the Australian team's losing start to the five-Test series.

Johnson's mother Vikki Harber, 45, made headlines earlier this month when she said her son had been stolen from her by his karate champ fiancée, Jessica Bratich.

Harber told the Herald Sun that her once-close relationship with her son had deteriorated since he started going out with Bratich.

While experts say there are some technical issues involved in Johnson's loss of bowling form, Hughes believes he has been deeply affected by his mother's comments, The Telegraph reports.

"I found it incredibly surprising that his mum said what she did - Mitchell Johnson is a pretty sensitive young man and now it looks like he is totally devoid of self-confidence," Hughes said.

"That really added some extra pressure and he is a young man who has got other things on his mind. When you lose confidence in yourself, all of a sudden there are technical things that you lose as well," he added.

Spin legend Shane Warne also said that Johnson should put his personal problems behind him.

"He's had some pretty big distractions and I'm sure it's affected him a fair bit, but you have to deal with it before a Test match and you simply cannot be consumed by it during a Test," The Australian quoted Warne, as saying.

Harber has hit back at her critics and asked the Australian media to deliver her boy a message. (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, July 24, 2009, 16:58 [IST]
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