Home > News >

Mitchell Johnson rates Centurion performance against South Africa highly

Mitchell Johnson's blitz has put Australia in command in the first Test © Getty Images
Mitchell Johnson’s spell has put Australia in command in the first Test against South Africa © Getty Images

by Colin Bryden

Centurion: February 13, 2014

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson produced a devastating bowling performance on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Thursday which he said was better than that which set the tone for the recent Ashes series against England.

Johnson took four for 51 as South Africa crashed to 140 for six at the close, still 257 runs behind Australia’s first innings of 397. AB de Villiers was the only batsman to withstand the onslaught, unbeaten on 52.

The raw figures do not do justice to the destruction caused by Johnson against the world’s  No 1 rated team.

Johnson needed just four balls to strike a major blow when he dismissed South African captain Graeme Smith with a vicious bouncer. He followed up with the wickets of Alviro Petersen and Faf du Plessis in his third and fourth overs.

Hashim Amla was leg before wicket to Peter Siddle to reduce South Africa to 43 for four before AB de Villiers and JP Duminy staged a minor recovery with a fifth wicket stand of 67.

Johnson was involved in Duminy’s dismissal, taking a superb diving catch running back from mid-off when Duminy mistimed a lofted drive against off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

Johnson the bowler struck again when he bowled Ryan McLaren, beating the all-rounder for pace.

Johnson was Man of the Match in the first Test against England in Brisbane last November, taking nine wickets and stamping an Australian dominance which led to a 5-0 sweep.

Johnson was named man of the series, taking 37 wickets at an average of 13.97 as Australia regained the Ashes.

“I started a bit better here,” he said. “To come out and get three quick wickets was definitely a great start for me personally but the game has been set up by the way the boys batted earlier on.”

Johnson said he noticed that South African bowlers Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren got extra bounce when they bowled around the wicket — a similar angle to him bowling left-arm over the wicket. “I just wanted to utilise that. I didn’t think the ball was swinging, so my plan was just to bang the wicket hard and it came off.”

He said he believed he was a better bowler than when he played against South Africa five years ago when he twice broke bones in Graeme Smith’s hand.

Johnson’s first ball to Smith was short and there was a half-hearted appeal as it thudded off the batsman’s thigh pad to short leg.

The next ball was a fast bouncer which climbed towards Smith’s head. The batsman lifted his bat in front of his face and the ball looped over the slips, with Shaun Marsh running back from third slip to take a fine catch.

“It’s nice when a plan comes off,” said Johnson. “Like I said when I first got here, I think it’s definitely at the back of his mind what happened previously. But he’s done so well for his country, you never know. It was just one of those balls that took off.”

South African coach Russell Domingo admitted: “It’s going to be tough to get out of this position. Australia are well ahead.”

Domingo described Johnson as an “X-factor” bowler. “We’ve got him on a hot streak. We prepared as well as we could but there’s no way you can prepare for the intensity of a Test match.”Australia earlier lost their last six wickets for 66 runs.

Marsh and Steve Smith took their fifth wicket stand to 233, seeing off the threat of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with the second new ball, before Smith was out for 100, caught at second slip off Ryan McLaren.

Smith took 33 balls to advance from his overnight 91 to his fourth Test century, made off 211 deliveries, but was out two balls later.

Brad Haddin, one of the stars of Australia’s 5-0 series win over England, lasted just three balls before he swung across the line against left-arm spinner Robin Peterson and was leg before wicket without scoring.

Marsh took his overnight score of 122 to a Test-best 148 before Philander came back into the attack and had him caught at first slip.

Dale Steyn and Robin Peterson wrapped up the innings soon after lunch, with Steyn bowling Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle to finish with four for 78, while Peterson bowled Johnson for a hard-hit 33.

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Australia Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes Phil Hughes head injury South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes passes away: India-Australia 1st Test in doubt

India tour game against CA XI cancelled: Report

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Day 2 called off after Phillip Hughes’ death

Phillip Hughes death: Universal sorrow as cricket grounds silent

Phillip Hughes’ death: Indian team expresses condolences

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: When Will the Supreme Court make the whole Mudgal report public?

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here