Merv Hughes backs Johnson to join elite 300 wicket club

Sydney: One of Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson`s selector, Merv Hughes has reportedly urged the panel to not overtax the player, as it may potentially lead to a premature end, and allow him to play into his mid-30s.

Hughes, a fan of the rotation policy and who gave Johnson his international debut, believes that a prudent approach with the star left-armer could have him play more and become only the fifth Australian to pass 300 wickets.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Hughes said that Australia may not have looked after the paceman during his early days

Hughes said that the players don`t want to be rested but to get longevity in this day and age and Johnson is capable of playing all forms of the game.

The report said that Johnson, with 222 wickets from 53 Tests, is the man most likely to be the next inductee into Australia`s exclusive 300 club, of which only Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee and Brett Lee hold membership.

Johnson, at his rate of 4.19 wickets a game, is expected to pass the milestone in the next two years if he stays fit.

Hughes further said that if Johnson continues to take four wickets a Test match, which he`s capable of doing, it adds up and he`d have another three or four years in him, minimum, the report added.