It wasn’t Jimmy Anderson, but Australian destroyer Mitchell Johnson has broken the arm of an opponent.
Ryan McLaren, the South African allrounder who is all too familiar with Johnson’s thunderbolts, will miss the rest of the one-day tri-series in Harare after suffering a hairline fracture in his forearm during Tuesday’s loss to Australia.
Back in February’s first Test against the Proteas at Centurion, Johnson struck McLaren in the side of the helmet with a vicious blow which left the 31-year-old bleeding from the ear.
McLaren was admitted to hospital a day later and played no further part in the series.
Now Johnson has sent him back to the medicos for the second time in six months, this time to treat a broken arm.
Last summer, Australian captain Michael Clarke was caught on the stump microphone telling England No.11 Anderson to “get ready for a broken f***ing arm” when Johnson was charging into bowl.
To McLaren’s credit, he batted on bravely through both the headknock at Centurion and now the broken arm in Harare, but you can’t imagine he’s looking forward to facing up to Johnson again come November when the South Africans visit Australia for another one-day series.
“Ryan was taken for X-rays this afternoon after complaining of severe pain following a blow to his right forearm yesterday,” said South African team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosaje.
“The scans revealed a hairline fracture to the bone in the right forearm, which rules him out of action for the next three weeks. He will return back to South Africa on Thursday morning.”
McLaren has been troubled by the same length both times, only the speed and the pace of the wicket in Centurion made the situation far more dangerous.
It might have a few of the Proteas top order more than a little nervous ahead of Saturday’s tri-series final.
Johnson said he knew he had McLaren hopping, and lamented not getting his wicket.
“I probably got a bit carried away when McLaren came in,” said Johnson.
In the opening match against Zimbabwe Johnson smashed the window of the commentary box, shattering glass all over the callers.
And Johnson inadvertently caused Zimbabwean Tinashe Panyangara to be sacked.
The local quick had sent around a picture to teammates on social media on the eve of the match of the Australian quick blasting England’s batsmen, with the message: “Good luck boys.”