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Mitchell Johnson: Top five bowling spells

Following his retirement, Sports Mole looks back on five of Mitchell Johnson's most impressive bowling spells at international level.

Batsmen across the world will have let out a sigh of relief upon learning of left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson's decision to retire from all forms of international cricket earlier today.

The 73-capped 34-year-old took 313 Test wickets at an average of 28.40, while he also claimed a further 239 and 38 victims in the one-day international and Twenty20 formats of the game respectively.

Here, Sports Mole looks back on Johnson's career and picks out five of his most impressive bowling spells.

1. 8-61 vs. South Africa (Perth, 2008)

In 2008, no batting lineup in the world was more star-studded than the one that South Africa could boast. However, they were made to look ordinary by Johnson, who recorded his best ever Test figures on what was his 16th appearance.

At one stage the paceman had 2-5 from just 21 deliveries, while as the innings progressed AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy were all caught behind off the bowling of Johnson.

2. 6-38 vs. England (Perth, 2010)

Conceding 170 runs in 42 wicketless over at The Gabba meant that it came as little surprise when Johnson was dropped for the second Ashes Test. However, he was reinstated for the Perth encounter and appeared to be determined to prove the doubters wrong.

Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell were all trapped lbw by Johnson, while he also snared the wickets of captain Alastair Cook, Chris Tremlett and James Anderson during what was a satisfying outing for the Queensland-born seamer.

3. 6-31 vs. Sri Lanka (Pallekele, 2011)

Johnson produced what were the fourth-best figures in Australia's one-day international history to set his team on the path to a seven-wicket victory over their Sri Lankan counterparts.

Included within his six-wicket haul were dangermen Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jaywardene, and Angelo Mathews, who were able to contribute only 34 runs between them. Those figures remained Johnson's best in the 50-over format of the game.

4. 7-40 vs. England (Adelaide, 2013)

Not for the first time in his career, Johnson had to deal with plenty of doubts and criticism aimed in his direction heading into an Ashes series. After all, injuries and a loss of form had meant that he had played no Test cricket for 12 months.

But, he quite simply annihilated England in Adelaide with one of the most impressive bowling stints in recent memory. In the first five overs after lunch, Johnson claimed 5-16 as the tourists failed to cope with his pace and bounce. There were also two occasions in which he was on a hat-trick, although he was unable to convert either of those opportunities.

5. 7-68 vs. South Africa (Centurion, 2014)

Ahead of the first Test, the encounter was billed as the battle of the two fast-bowlers - Johnson against South Africa's Dale Steyn. Not only did the Australians win by a comfortable 281-run margin, Johnson also stole the headlines from the home side's main man.

Steyn claimed six wickets over the course of the match, while Johnson took seven in the first innings alone. He set the tone by bouncing out captain Graeme Smith in the first over, while the likes of Alviro Petersen and De Villiers (again) were sent back to the pavilion by Australia's mustachioed-bowler. For good measure, he removed a further five South African batsmen in the second innings.

Mitchell Johnson takes a wicket during the first Test against South Africa on February 15, 2014© Getty Images

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