Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson said he simply lost the hunger to play Test cricket.
The 34-year-old announced his immediate retirement from international cricket before the final day’s play against New Zealand at the WACA Ground on Tuesday.
Johnson said he finalised the decision in the first innings in Perth, when he returned figures of 1-157.
Johnson finished in fourth position on the all-time wicket-taker list for Australia, with 313 scalps at just over 28 apiece.
He finished his career in trademark style, with his last Test scalp coming from a rising delivery which Kiwi opener Martin Guptill was only able to fend to Joe Burns at short leg.
Johnson’s best haul was 8-61 against South Africa, at the WACA in 2008.
Described by long-time mentor Dennis Lillee as a “once in a generation” bowler, the former ICC Cricketer of the Year also claimed 239 wickets in 153 one-day internationals.
Australia’s fast bowling coach Craig McDermott said Johnson all but handed over the baton as a spearhead of the attack during the third and fourth days’ play at the WACA.
While Johnson struggled, Mitchell Starc picked up four wickets in New Zealand’s first innings and on the third day sent down a 160.4 kilometre per hour thunderbolt believed to be the fastest ever delivery bowled in Test cricket.
“We probably saw the changing of the guard here two days ago, with Mitchell Starc consistently bowling 150 kilometres an hour,” McDermott said.
Johnson also played 30 Twenty20 internationals and was a handy lower order batsman, with a Test top score of 123 not out and 11 half-centuries.
Former Test cricketers from around the world took to Twitter to praise Johnson.
“All the England lads will be celebrating they won’t have to face @MitchJohnson398 again in Australia…. Great career & a Great man,” wrote England’s former captain Michael Vaughan.
“Good luck to @MitchJohnson398 who has always been a special bowler. Got to know him well at @mipaltan and enjoyed his aggressive approach!” tweeted India’s Sachin Tendulkar.
“What an athlete! One of the best I ever played with,” wrote former Australian captain Michael Clarke.