The brickbats continued to be peppered in ample dozes at the way of former Australian captain Michael Clarke with pacer Mitchell Johnson on Thursday calling the team culture during the former's reign "toxic", ahead of the release of his autobiography, Resilient.
Johnson enjoyed his best spell of his career under Clarke, masterminding the 5-0 Ashes whitewash at home in 2013-'14, picking up 120 Test wickets in 27 Tests at 24.71 along the way.
The 35-year-old was a part of the quartet that included Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson and James Pattinson to be sent back home during Australia's 2013 tour of India for not submitting a report on how they could improve the side's fortunes. The episode was latter dubbed as "Homeworkgate", which led to the sacking of then coach Mickey Arthur, “The dynamics definitely changed. It became more groups in the team. It wasn’t a team as so. There was different little factions going on and it was very toxic,” Johnson revealed in a interview to Fox Sports.
Johnson also remarked that that little was being done at the time to improve matters behind closed doors, "The toxic culture just built very slowly but everybody could see it, everybody could feel it. Nothing was being done at that time, so it wasn’t a very enjoyable place to be and you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself when you’re playing for your country."
The pace ace, who, finished with 313 Test wickets while also playing a part in Australia's fifth World Cup win, which was under Clarke in 2015 added that he had stopped enjoying the game during this time “It was a pretty bad experience, bad time, a couple of us didn’t want to play. Even some of the young guys coming through could see it a mile away and they didn’t enjoy it, they said ‘state cricket’s so much more fun'."
Johnson also stated that his equation with Clarke was "strained" after being suspended for the Homeworkgate incident. On returning back to the side, the left-armer said he "definitely felt like an outsider.” Just a day ago, retired Australian cricket Brett Geeves lambasted Clarke and the Australian team culture during Australia's 2009 tour of South Africa.