Melbourne: In-form pacer Mitchell Johnson is all set to become the second highest paid player in the 25-man contract list of Cricket Australia, which might hand out pay cuts to injury-ravaged bowling spearhead Brett Lee and struggling batsman Mike Hussey. “Mitchell Johnson will be the big mover in Australia’s new contract rankings and is closing in on the cherished mantle of the nation’s highest-paid player,” reported The Courier Mail.

“Boom quick Johnson, not among the top four players last season, is likely to be promoted to the No. 2 spot when the Australian selectors decide their 25-man contract list in the next few weeks,” the report stated.

The newspaper said skipper Ricky Ponting is likely to retain his No. 1 spot in the contract list. Johnson’s elevation comes in the wake of his good performance this summer, during which he grabbed 14 wickets in the two Tests against New Zealand, 17 wickets against South Africa in three Tests in Australia and 16 in South Africa.

He proved his worth with the bat as well, scoring his maiden Test hundred during the away series against South Africa. — PTI

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