Home > Features >

Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin kick-started the Ashes turnaround against England

Brad Haddin and Mitchell stitched a century partnership in the first Ashes Test against England © Getty Images
Mitchell Johnson (left) and Brad Haddin notched up half centuries against England in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba © Getty Images

Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin have been the heroes for Australia in the Ashes 2013-14. Nishad Pai Vaidya says that the duo turned the tables around and the set the tone for the series with a spirited rescue act in the first innings at Brisbane.

 

When England arrived Down Under, who would have imagined a 0-5 whitewash for the tourists? Who would have thought that a rejuvenated Mitchell Johnson would terrorise the Englishmen into submission with his thunderous pace, coupled with the menacing mustachioed looks? Australia’s comeback has been phenomenal; an unlikely story that unfolded spectacularly during the course of the five Tests. Having lost 0-4 in India and then 0-3 during the Ashes 2013 in England, Australia were the underdogs for the contest for the urn, Down Under.

However, the most unlikely stories are scripted by the most unfancied heroes. While, Australia have put in a team effort and numerous players have risen to the occasion in the hour of need. Brad Haddin and Johnson stand out, as they have been the real heroes of this triumph. It is mainly about the way they have comeback to help Australia win the Ashes and it is a tale that should inspire their compatriots in the future. Johnson was mocked and rubbished during the previous editions, but hit back like a juggernaut. On the other hand, Haddin had his share of problems and could only return to international cricket in 2013.

In many ways, Johnson has been the catalyst of the whole victory. He is the only addition to the attack that played in England and he made all the difference. With a small change in his bowling action and the extra pace, England were caught off-guard. During the Ashes 2013 in England, Australia’s attack bowled with spirit, Ryan Harris leading the way. However, they lacked the extra punch and Johnson did fit into the puzzle perfectly. His 37 wickets in five Tests tells the story, but more than the scalps, it is more about the fear he instilled during the series.

One could feel the need for the Englishmen to get off strike while facing Johnson. The searing pace, coupled with bounce had them in all sorts of problems. For Johnson, it is a resurrection. He had this unpredictable aura around him and hadn’t been a fixture in the Test side. With this performance, he had made a good comeback and should be a force to reckon with for some time.

Earlier this year, Haddin made a comeback during the Ashes in England and had to endure the heartbreak of losing the Nottingham Test by 14 runs. The rest of the Ashes was a forgettable experience for him and the team. So, when the series commenced Down Under, Haddin was in a different mould. England did have Australia in trouble a few times, but Haddin stood tall in every Test and scored at least a fifty in each game.

The duo combined together in the first Test to set the tone for the rest of the Ashes. When England reduced Australia to 132 for six on Day One at Brisbane, many felt it would be the same old story all over again. Haddin and Johnson had other ideas. In tandem, they scripted a 114-run stand that helped Australia come out of the muddle. Johnson scored 64, while Haddin missed his ton by a mere six runs, as he stretched Australia to 295. That was where it all started for Australia and at times, one may overlook such small moments in context of the series. However, such passages of play may have an unmistakable impact on the series.

Australia have shown their typical ruthlessness that was supposedly missing all the while. Perhaps, it was just a lull in the post transition era and any side would take its time to find its feet. But, this 5-0 victory is a platform for the Aussies and Michael Clarke to build a formidable side. This team is well and truly back to its old ways.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

New playing conditions to be seen in Pakistan- Australia series

Sunil Narine will get over this tough phase positively, says West Indies coach Stuart Williams

West Indies have the ability to beat India: Richie Richardson

CLT20 2014 Semi-final 1: Hurricanes confident before KKR match,says Doug Bollinger

CLT20 2014: Inexperience against spin reason for Perth Scorchers’ exit, says Justin Langer

Jasprit Bumrah: Sachin Tendulkar giving me my debut cap was my most memorable moment with Mumbai Indians

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

What this bitch is up to?

Director Siddharth Anand dares Bang Bang stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif!

Meru Cabs gets Uber’s best feature

Have acne? Drink wine to get rid of it

Alcatel OneTouch Fire C2G Firefox smartphone launched in India, priced at Rs 1,990

Diagnose with Alzheimer’s? What to do when the worst has happened

Aamir Khan completes Hrithik Roshan’s dare – is it lame or smart?

Asian Games 2014 Medal Table: China lead the Medal Tally with 130 gold, India 10th with 7 gold medals

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here