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Ashes 2013-14: Mitchell Johnson is a born-again strike weapon, says Allan Border

Former Australian captain Allan Border also praised the partnership between Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke in the 2nd Test © Getty Images
Former Australian captain Allan Border also praised the crucial partnership between Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke in the 2nd Test against England © Getty Images

 

Dec 9, 2013

 

Former Australian captain Allan Border was impressed with home team’s performance against England in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide, which the hosts won by 218 runs. He was also happy with pacer Mitchell Johnson’s performance.

 

He wrote in his column for Australian Cricket Family, “Well what a four-and-a-bit days it was in Adelaide. There was a lot of talk pre-match about the new drop-in pitch, with how it would play, and plenty of pundits thought we’d get a draw, but it certainly didn’t pan out that way.”

 

“I was seriously impressed with the Australian performance. It was a great toss to win but the hard work still had to be done, and they delivered quite consistently throughout the course of the Test match.”

 

“And Mitchell Johnson. A born-again strike weapon. That half dozen overs in England’s first innings – he was on a hat-trick twice, and took three wickets in one over – was as compelling cricket as I’ve seen.”

 

The former captain also praised captain Michael Clarke and his partnership with Brad Haddin.

 

“Michael Clarke again produced under pressure and got his side out of trouble with a brilliant hundred, and his partnership with Brad Haddin – who rode his luck but was superb – really gave Australia the momentum in the match.”

 

Border praised opener David Warner and mentioned about the latter’s second innings’ performance.

 

“There were plenty of standouts for the Australians. David Warner was excellent at the top of the order, especially in the second innings, and seems to have really worked on his defence, which is impressing me just as much as his attack at the moment.”

 

Border continued, ‘’While it wasn’t always one-way traffic, Australia built nicely towards that final crescendo on day five to wrap up those last four wickets. It was a total team performance – some better-performed than others – but they just hunted as a pack, put the pressure right back on England, and they’re looking a very hard team to beat right now.”

 

Border also shared a few words on the influence of new coach Darren Lehmann on the Australian team.

 

“There’s no doubt the influence of coach Darren Lehmann is showing. There’s a mood and an attitude around the camp now that has changed from under Mickey Arthur’s tenure. I think Mickey just misjudged the mood of what was required for our blokes, and Darren’s brought a calm sort of intensity to the set-up. So there’s room to have a bit of a laugh, and a bit of fun, as well as putting in the hard yards to make sure their performances are at their top level.”

 

“The environment that Lehmann’s created since he’s been there is really obvious. Even though the results didn’t come in England, there was a growing sense that things were moving in the right direction as far as the environment the guys were operating in, and that’s really starting to bear fruit now”, he stated.

 

He concluded by writing about Australia’s likely bowling combination for the WACA Test, “You’d be tempted to consider four quicks for Perth but at the same time, an off-spinner at the WACA is handy because of the Fremantle Doctor, which blows across the ground in the afternoon and provides that drift away from the right-handers. And with Shane Watson on board, that provides a handy extra element for Clarke to have up his sleeve.”

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