Johnson promises more ‘chin-music’
A fit-again, in-form Johnson is an asset and as acknowledged by skipper George Bailey during the opening ODI of the seven-match series against India at Pune on Sunday, the 31-year-old pacer has a very clear task in hand i.e. to ‘intimidate’ Dhoni & Co. in this series with his pace and length.
Speaking to StarSports.Com on Tuesday, Johnson promised there will be no let-up in the intensity during the remainder of the series.
“Coming here (to India) there was a plan to use pace as an intimidating factor (against the batsmen). In the first ODI, that was the role that I took on. The Jaipur wicket also seems to have nice bounce on it. That’s my role in the ODI team, to hit the wicket hard and get my pace up to the high 140s,” mentioned the southpaw.
Continuing in the same vein, he added: “Generally the wickets here aren’t very bouncy. Indian batsmen don’t see a lot of short balls in these conditions. I have always said that the short ball is a very good ball to bowl on these wickets as they tend to be a little up and down at times. Having bowlers who can bowl with extra pace in our team helps us execute our plans better.”
For a bowler who used to bowl regularly at 150 kmph/hour plus at the beginning of his international career in 2006, injuries and subsequent loss of form had seen Johnson cut down on his pace for better accuracy and control. However he has come back strongly after being left out of the Australian that lost the Ashes 3-0 in England. Regularly clocking up speeds of 140 kmph/hour plus during the visitors 2-1 ODI series win in England, the left-arm pacer troubled the batsmen with his length and accuracy.
Johnson’s contribution to the wicket’s column at Pune may only have been restricted to the dismissal of Yuvraj Singh with a dream delivery, but he did play an indirect role in plotting the downfall of skipper MS Dhoni. While the experienced pacer softened up the Indian captain with short deliveries from one end, it was Clint Mckay who forced an error from MSD as he made him play inside to a well-up pitched delivery that sent the off-stump on a cartwheel.
“Something that we work in our team is to work on partnerships whether it is batting or bowling. In the series in England that we won, that was our goal. We work together as a team and always stick together as a bowling unit. Clint at the other end, worked perfectly well, pitching the ball up and trying to get the drive and the edge while I was bowling short. That’s what a partnership is all about,” explained Johnson.
So can Dhawan, Kohli, Raina and others now upset the Australian plans? Watch this space for more details.
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