Image courtesy of: Zimbio
“I’m not worried about the speed gun anymore”
Despite the media claiming that Mitchell Johnson is going to attack the English batsmen with a barrage of bouncers, the Australia left-arm pace bowler has revealed that “it’s not going to be all-out bouncers, it’s picking the right times and being smart”.
There has also been a lot of hype in the media about Johnson consistently bowling deliveries between 150km/h and 155km/h without any real difficulty.
“I guess there’s been a lot of talk that we’re going to just bowl 155 clicks, bowling bouncers every ball,” Johnson said. “That’s all just media hype.
“I know what I need to do, we all know our roles in the team, we’re all different bowlers, I can’t give too much away in terms of plan, but it’s not going to be all-out bouncers, it’s picking the right times and being smart.
“I’m not worried about the speed gun anymore. When you first come in you’re trying to really rip it in there and you’ll check it out. Occasionally you’ll see what it is. During the one-day series in England I glanced up a couple times, see the pace and think ‘it didn’t feel like that’. So it’s really irrelevant to me, it’s all about my run-up, my feel, how the ball is going through. If I’m swinging the ball late and getting good carry, if it’s not swinging conditions and I’m getting that good bounce then that’s all that really matters to me, seeing it go through to the keeper.”
Johnson is also glad to have Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris, both of whom are experienced pace bowlers, at his side for the upcoming Ashes series, which gets underway on November 21 in Brisbane.
“We’ve definitely got the experience in this attack now where we can all compliment each other, and if someone isn’t going well at the time I think we can back each other up at certain times,” Johnson said. “Just in the nets today Ryan said he was struggling a little at the start, our purpose of the session was to really get into game mode, so we just helped each other out through that. That’s what we’re going to do throughout this series.”
The 32-year-old also took the opportunity to talk about how wonderful it was to be a parent.
“It’s a great moment to have a child. Really exciting,” he said. “You can have those bad days, but I’ve got a photo album I just flip through and it just puts a smile on your face. That’s been a big factor for me having my personal life in order, and really enjoying life. In the end it’s just a game of cricket.
“We build these Ashes series up, but I’ve learned from that in the past you can build it up too much and get too involved and too emotional. For me it’s another game of cricket and at the end of the day I can ring back home to my daughter or get back home and see my daughter. It’s all in good balance.”
Johnson is also bracing himself for whatever England have in store and he even admitted to humming songs in order to keep himself from worrying about it.
“In the recent one-day series it wasn’t the full Barmy Army but I copped a bit of stick there and I just gave it back to them when it was the right time,” he said. “In the end if I’m getting wickets and playing well I don’t think I’m going to cop as much. If I do I’ve heard it all, experienced it all and I’ve learned how to block it out. But it is hard at times because the songs are catchy.”