Doubts arise over Johnson’s ability to cope on ‘away’ wickets

July 25th, 2010 - 6:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, July 25 (ANI): A poor performance on his first tour of England was passed off as inexperience of those conditions, but failing for a second time, has put significant doubt on left-armer Mitchell Johnson’s ability to cope on ‘away’ wickets.

Johnson started the tour against Pakistan brightly with a superb first-innings performance at Lord’s. In the 42 overs that the 28-year-old has bowled since then, until the end of day three at Headingley, he took only one wicket, conceded 184 runs at an average of 4.38 runs every over.

On this tour, Johnson did not spray the ball as he did at Lord’s in 2009, but he simply looked pedestrian.

The suspicion from outside the fence is that Johnson is the easiest Australian strike bowler to face at the moment, and it was confirmed by Pakistani opener Imran Farhat, who scored 43 and 67 in the second Test.

‘With this hard track, we are more comfortable with Johnson bowling than with [Doug] Bollinger,’ The Age quoted Farhat, as saying.

Farhat also believed the two-Test tour had proved that, in England, at least, that an unfancied Pakistan team possessed a more threatening and effective pace attack than Australia.

Johnson seemed quite exasperated with his form at Leeds, but teammate Steve Smith insisted Johnson’s morale was not easily shaken.

‘Mitch is always an upbeat sort of character so you never really know with him whether he has had a good day or a bad day. He keeps his head high either way,’ he said.

Johnson’s form will be a priority for Australian bowling coach Troy Cooley’s tasks between returning to Australia and the start of the India tour in late September. (ANI)

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