Mitchell Johnson admits he’s gunning for a Test recall but says his immediate focus is on striking fear into England’s batsman in the limited overs series.
Johnson marked his return to the international scene with two wickets in Australia’s 39-run win over England in the opening Twenty20 in Southampton on Thursday.
The 31-year-old was overlooked for the Ashes but former paceman Brett Lee this week called for him to be brought back for the return series this summer to give the Australian attack some raw pace.
Johnson admitted it was strange watching the first Test from his couch but felt was not bitter and felt he was in a good place both on and off the cricket field.
“I’d love to get back playing Test match cricket and get playing in the next Ashes series,” Johnson said after taking 2-41 on a batting-friendly wicket at the Rose Bowl.
“I’d love to win an Ashes … but at the moment my focus is the shorter form.
“My progress after my toe injury (in late 2011) has been exactly how I want it to be and I’ve felt like my bowling is exactly how I want it to be now.
“I’m bowling with good pace, when the conditions are right I can swing the ball and bowl that good short ball again.
“To be able to to do that tonight, to put a bit of fear hopefully in their eyes, that’s why I want to play.”
Lee felt Johnson could add some variety which he felt was lacking from Australia’s Ashes pace attack in England.
Johnson is keen to embrace the role of intimidator.
“You look at past teams and there’s always been someone that can do that and be intimidating,” Johnson said.
“I just want to go out there and do that kind off stuff.”
Johnson’s hopes of a Test recall could be boosted by a hamstring injury to Ryan Harris while a strong, consistent showing in the upcoming T20 and one-day games will likely be essential.
Australia play their second T20 match against England at Chester-Le-Street on Saturday before an ODI against Scotland on Tuesday and a five-game ODI series against the Old Enemy.