Johnson happy to get stuck into England
Mitchell Johnson has applauded coach Mickey Arthur for blasting the Australia cricket team’s lack of aggression and he believes he can provide that “mongrel spirit” that Arthur demands.
Left-arm fast bowler Johnson, 30, has returned to action on this tour after a seven-month break through a foot injury.
He feels that time out of the game, having fallen out of love with his profession through a relentless schedule since 2005, has reinvigorated his appetite for cricket and he is now keen to contribute to the team’s cause.
Australia will seek to salvage a consolation victory in the final one-day international in Manchester on Tuesday with England 3-0 up.
Johnson wants to feature having recovered from minor foot soreness and put the bite back into the Australian attack.
“What Mickey said (on Saturday) was spot on,” Johnson said from the team’s Manchester hotel. “He made us sit right in front of him and basically he just laid it out. That’s a great trait for a coach and that’s what we want.
“I need to play my role for the team and be that aggressive bowler. That’s probably something that’s been missing a little bit – Mickey has spoken about the fire missing from our one-day side.”
Johnson has more reason than most Australians to want to succeed in Manchester where he has been England fans’ No.1 victim when it comes to chanting.
Apart from the odd games where he has been the standout match-winner, like at Headingley in 2009 and Perth in 2010-11, he knows he has not been at his best against England and is determined to silence the Barmy Army.
He failed to threaten on his return during Australia’s second one-dayer at The Oval, with figures of 0-43 off seven overs.
“There’s no better challenge than to come over to a country where you’re going to cop a fair bit, their players are obviously playing very well, so I was very keen to be on this tour,” Johnson said.
“I can be a lot more consistent with my performances. I seem to either get into the wickets or get no wickets and it doesn’t look too good on the outside.
“But the way I look at it is that they wouldn’t put so much crap on me if they weren’t threatened. They know that when I’m on, it’s going to be tough for their guys.
“I was copping it at Durham on Saturday and I wasn’t even playing. I just laugh about it now. It would be nice to go out for this last game and, not rub it in their face, but show that we’re competitive.
“You can’t let it affect you. It means nothing in the end, they are just trying to put you off your game. I speak to them after the game and they are pretty friendly in general.”© AAP 2013