Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“It’s a start, but we need to celebrate tonight because it has been a while”
Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson has announced that he will continue targeting England’s batsmen with short-pitched deliveries throughout the Ashes series after “it worked very well” in the first Test in Brisbane, which the baggy greens won by 381 runs.
Johnson picked up nine wickets during the first Test and attributes most of his success to England’s failure to play his short-pitched bowling.
“I like bowling short, especially at the Gabba,” he said. “I think when you’ve got conditions like that, personally I like bowling the short ball and I think it worked very well.
“I think you can get inside a batsman’s head. It could be a very different wicket down in Adelaide (second Test), but out there (Gabba) it was definitely going through nicely.
“I’ll keep doing it. It’s working.”
Johnson, who dismissed England batsman Jonathan Trott in both innings, stated that he saw fear in the 32-year-old’s eyes.
“He’s been thinking about the short ball from what I’ve seen in the nets, practising a lot of short ones,” Johnson said. “There were a couple of nice ones that were zinging past his nose.
“As a fast bowler you give a bit of a stare and have a look into the eyes and…I don’t know, there might have been a little bit of fear there, maybe. I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that.”
However, England captain Alastair Cook came to Trott’s defence, saying: “He’s had a tough game, he knows that. You have to remember that the guy’s class though. He’s had a little blip now in these couple of games but he’s a class player and class players bounce back.
“I know he’s been working incredibly hard at the short ball, he’s been trying to work on it in the net sessions, I just think it’s a matter of him trying to take that into the middle.
“Suddenly, when the pressure and emotion of the game is on there. It’s sometimes tough to think as clearly as you need.”
Johnson was also ecstatic to have started his Ashes campaign with a five-wicket haul.
“To get a five-for in a Test match in an Ashes series is an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “All the boys just racing in and getting in a huddle was a great celebration for us. It was just a great moment something I’ll never forget.
“It’s a start, but we need to celebrate tonight because it has been a while.”