Over the past few days, I have been watching some highlights of the 2013-14 Ashes, and it was absolutely fabulous to watch Mitchell Johnson decimate the English batsmen.
Johnson was making a comeback of sorts and he bowled with extreme pace and accuracy throughout the series, which took the English team completely by surprise.
The 2013-14 tourists were a much better side than the present one. Michael Carberry, who opened with Alastair Cook, was the least experienced player in the XI and even he had a decent series with the bat.
When you look back at what Johnson did, it is nothing sort of astonishing. The English had defeated Australia in the 2010-11 Ashes series in Australia and had retained the Ashes at home in 2013. Johnson provided the x-factor the hosts so very badly needed.
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The moustached menace not only took 37 wickets at an average of 13 in five Tests, he also scored important runs lower down the order to end up with 164 runs at 27.
It meant Brad Haddin went under the radar, despite scoring 493 runs in eight inning, with one century and five fifties. Haddin and the tail rescued Australia from trouble a few times and the wicketkeeper was the most important player after Johnson.
Mitchell Starc, who has had a wonderful start to the Shield season, will be the man the Aussies need to provide the spark which Johnson did so brilliantly. Starc is likewise a leftie with extreme pace, and a handy lower-order batsman who averages 25 with the bat, having compiled nine fifties.
Haddin’s spot is presently a point of concern, with the keeping place still undecided. Who will be Australia’s Brad Haddin this time around?