Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson has revealed that he wants to bowl shorter spells during the fourth and final Test against India in Sydney.
Since he is bowling four, five or six-over spells instead of the three he is used to, Johnson has had no choice but to cut down on his pace.
“I’ve been bowling longer spells,” Johnson said. “That’s been at the back of my mind where I know I’m going to be bowling four, five, six over spells that I can’t be flat out every ball. It has dropped off a little bit. It’s been a big 15 months as well so it’s tough cricket.
“We go out there day in and day out and we work really hard and to be able to bowl 150 every game I’d be dreaming if I could do that. But I’d like to be going back to bowling shorter spells again. Hopefully I can do that in this Test. At the moment I’m just doing what the team needs me to do and that’s bowling those longer spells.
“I’ll speak to Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann and see if we can go back to those three over sharp spells because I think that worked really well for us in the past. But that’s just me speaking. They might want me to bowl those longer spells again. Be happier with me bowling an average of me bowling 140 again, and occasionally get it up there as well.”
Johnson also noted that the pitches prepared for the first three Tests of the series have been quite disappointing.
“You like a wicket to break up, that’s what you expect from a five-day wicket. And it looked like a three-day wicket by the end of it,” Johnson said when talking about the pitch prepared for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. “And it happened in Adelaide as well, obviously just had the footmarks there which was helpful for Nathan Lyon, but the middle of the wicket, it’s a little bit disappointing.
“We played over there [in India] and lost four-nil on some pretty ordinary wickets, I thought, and we were hoping for them to come over here and play on some good, bouncy wickets. I even thought the Gabba wasn’t the normal Gabba. A bit of bounce there but it just wasn’t the same. Wickets have been suited for the batters more than anything I think.”
Johnson also stated that he will need a break after the fourth Test in Sydney so that he can rest and recuperate prior to the start of the 2015 World Cup.
“Definitely, all us bowlers feel like we need to have a bit of a freshen up,” Johnson said. “So we’ll just see what happens after this match here. And then we’ve got some tri-series one-dayers, so hopefully I can get a bit of a break at some stage there. If not, I’ve just got to go out there and keep trying to do the best I can.
“We’ve just seen that in the last little period, bowlers have been getting a break. I had a break after one-dayers in Perth earlier, which was to freshen me up, and that was really helpful.”
When asked how badly the team will be affected by playing at the venue where Phillip Hughes was struck by a fatal bouncer five weeks ago, Johnson said: “We all didn’t know how we were going to go out there and play, and we weren’t sure if we had enough time and all that stuff and too close to go out there and play again.
“But everyone is sticking together. I remember the first fielding session we had we had a bit of fun, did a bit of dancing, [strength and conditioning coach] Damian Mednis made us do a dance and stuff when he stopped the music or whatever it was. He got us together and we really enjoyed each other’s company.
“[The SCG is] going to be difficult for a lot of guys, but the guys who were out there [when Hughes was hit] it’s going to be very tough for them, but everyone has handled it very well and in their own ways, they’ve done it very well. So we’ve been really happy to get a result that we have against India after the passing of Phil and we haven’t been at the SCG yet so we don’t know how everyone’s going to feel.
“I don’t know how it’s going to be like afterwards. I guess it will probably be hard, you’ll be able to sit down and think about things. You still find it difficult when you see little tributes around. It still brings a tear to the eye, so it’s been emotional for everyone but I think everyone sticking together has been the best thing.”