July 2009
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Alan Tyers: Analysing Mitchell Johnson

July 23rd, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England, Test cricket, The Ashes


I take a deep breath. I go to knock on the door of the hotel room. Miss, hit the doorframe. I try it again, focusing on keeping my arm high and straight this time. Got it, Troy! Right in the middle. It opens, I go in.

“Aw, g’day Mitchell,” says a man. He is about 60. He has a clipboard, like Mr Marsh and Mr Lillee. But he is not them. He has a white coat, and he is not drinking beer or making anybody cry by questioning their competitiveness in front of the leadership group.

“I’m Dr Bruce,” says the man. “I am the Australian team psychologist.”

“Hello,” I say. “I am Mitchell. I did not know we had a team psychologist.”

“It’s a new position,” says Dr Bruce. “There was never any need before, you see. The team wasn’t full of bloody poofters back in the good old days.”

“Oh,” I say. “I am not a poofter. My name is Mitchell and I am a bowling all-rounder.”

“Well, Mitchell,” says Dr Bruce. “I am here to reassure you and help you synergise the optimum possible environment for facilitating success.”

“My name is Mitchell and I am a bowling all-rounder,” I say. Perhaps this will make long words go away?

“Look mate,” says Dr Bruce. “Have a bit of a lie-down on this couch here. Shane Watson’s made it all lovely and warm.”

I lie down. Couch is a safe place? Couch is warm. Close eyes now. Drifting.

“Now then,” says Dr Bruce. “Tell me about your mother.”

Eyes open.

“I’m psychoanalysing you mate,” says Doctor Bruce. “Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. That Mike Brearley does it all the time, and he’s as clever as a dingo with two babies.”

“Not talking about mother,” I say. “Not talking to mother either. Not even texting. Mr Lillee cannot make me text.”

“Alright, alright calm down,” he says. “Save some of that anger for the Poms. Let’s try a bit of word association instead. I say a word, you say the first thing that comes into your head. There’s no need to be afraid.”


“Sorry?” says Doctor.

“Wides,” I say.

“Look we haven’t even started yet,” says Doctor. He is shouting. “For Christ’s sake try and concentrate.”


Doctor Bruce is quiet now. He writes on clipboard. For a long time. I think about girlfriend. She beat up Doctor? Beat Doctor! Everyone cheer, we are Australian Posh and Becks except with karate ninja skills and awesome big-hitting down the order.

“Look, Mitchell.”

Doctor is speaking again.

“Look, Mitchell,” says Doctor. “I’ve reviewed your case, and in this instance I believe the only possible remedy is a course of cranial percussive therapy. I am referring you to a specialist.”

I nod. Hungry now. Cheese sandwich?

“Just relax on the couch, and my colleague will be in to see you very shortly.”

Bye Doctor. Close eyes.

Open eyes.


Voice speak.

“Hello Mitchell,” says voice. “I am Doctor Mervyn Hughes and I will be treating you for your mental difficulties. The course of treatment will focus on me hitting you around the head with a cricket bat. Let’s get started, shall we?”

Treatment begins. I want mother now.

By Alan Tyers

Posted in Alan Tyers, England, Test cricket, The Ashes | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Alan Tyers: Analysing Mitchell Johnson”

  1.   jose says:

    Worked well, didn’t it? Someone needs to give Hussey a knock around the head.

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