Image courtesy of: Zimbio
“I’m coming over here after a great series being the intimidator against England”
Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson has announced that he is “happy to be the intimidator” for the upcoming Test series against South Africa, which gets underway on February 12 in Centurion.
Johnson is being labelled Australia’s “intimidator” after he ripped England apart with his 37 wickets during the recently concluded Ashes series.
“I’m happy to be the intimidator and to be talked of like that,” Johnson said. “I’m coming over here after a great series being the intimidator against England. They’ve obviously seen all that, and I think they [South African spectators] are excited about seeing that as well.
“I had a lot of English [supporters] come up to me after the series, and even through the series, and they were just saying how good it was and how it brought Test cricket back to life. It’s great to hear those words. But I know I’ve been in this situation before. In ’09, everything was going really well [and then declined], but I’ve learned from that. I’m not going to underestimate anything – I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.”
With Johnson having dismissed Graeme Smith five times in the eight Tests he has played against South Africa, the 32-year-old firmly believes he has got the South African captain wrapped around his finger.
“That stuff can be in the back of their minds, definitely. You hope so,” Johnson said. “I’ve played against Graeme Smith a few times now and I’ve hit him a couple of times. I’m hoping that’s still in the back of his mind. That hopefully gives you a bit of an advantage.
“But it is a new series and they are a tough opposition. They’re very strong mentally and they’re the No.1 side for a good reason. Once that Test series starts, we’ve got to start from scratch. We’ve got to keep improving as a cricket team. Our goal is to take them over, so it’s a really important series for us.”