In his column for The West Australian, Johnson, who represented Australia 256 times in all formats, wrote: “It’s been five years and David Warner has still never really owned the ball-tampering scandal.
“He has a decent overall record and some say is one of our greatest opening bats. But his past three years in Test cricket have been ordinary, with a batting average closer to what a tailender would be happy with.
“Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country. As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why?
“Why a struggling Test opener gets to nominate his own retirement date. And why a player at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off?”
Johnson, who played 26 Tests alongside Warner including the 2013/14 Ashes in which the former left-arm fast bowler terrorised England, also censured Australia’s selectors.
“The handling of Warner in recent years, who played with Bailey in all three forms, raises the question of whether Bailey was simply too quickly out of playing and into the job and too close to some of the players,” Johnson added.
Responding to Johnson’s critique, Bailey told a press conference: “Ultimately, we still think (Warner) is in our best 11 players to win the first Test.”
Usman Khawaja, meanwhile, has also leapt to the defence of his opening partner, with the batter stressing that Warner and Steve Smith, captain at the time of the sandpaper scandal, served their punishments and should be regarded as “heroes”.
“Warner and Smith are heroes in my mind,” Khawaja said.
“They missed a year of cricket through dark times. No one’s perfect. Mitchell Johnson’s not perfect.
“What they have done for the game, how they have grown the game, far outweighs anything else they have done. “To say Dave Warner or anyone else involved in sandpaper (gate) is not a hero… I strongly disagree because they have paid their dues. A year out of cricket is a long time.”