Home > News >

South Africa will find it tough against Mitchell Johnson, says Merv Hughes

Merv-Hughes-of-Australia-in-action
Former Australian pacer Merv Hughes has warned Australia not to underestimate the South African bowling attack © Getty Images

Feb 1, 2014

Former Australian fast-bowler Merv Hughes feels that Mitchell Johnson will give South Africa a terrible time in the three-test series which is set to start in the Rainbow Nation and also warned the Australians to not underestimate the home side’s bowlers which is spearheaded by Dale Steyn.

Hughes was impressed with Johnson’s tear away pace in Australia’s 5-0 drubbing of England in the 2013-14 Ashes series and also insisted on a repeat performance against the Proteas in the upcoming series reported the Daily Telegraph.

“Mitchell Johnson has done his job, been the intimidator. If you are going to bowl 150km/h and bowl half volleys you are not going to intimidate many people,” said Hughes.

Johnson has twice broken South Africa skipper Graeme Smith’s hand with his rocket like deliveries and also once left Kumar Sangakkara with a concussion after the Sri Lankan was hit by a thunderbolt of a delivery in a Test match at Melbourne.

Also England’s Jonathan Trott received a barrage of Johnson’s deliveries in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane in November which may have left him battered and bruised mentally.

“For us to go after the tail and all England’s batsmen was very good to watch,” said Hughes who bustled to 212 wickets at an average of 28 in 53 Tests. You go out and play hard, understand their strengths and weaknesses,” said Hughes who has an impressive statistic of 212 Test wickets in 53 matches.

Johnson who sported a ‘lucky moustache’ during Australia’s drubbing of England has probably turned the luck in his favour as he picked up 37 wickets at an average of 14 in the five-match Test series.

Johnson has also surpassed Hughes in the Top 10 all time list of Australian bowlers as he reached 242 wickets and will also move past Richie Benaud provided he picks up seven more.

“Moustache or no moustache he is going to be bowling150km/h at the batsmen,” said Hughes, who played his final Test at Cape Town in 1994 where Australia won to square its post-Apartheid return series 1-1. It is great for me every time someone with a moustache takes a wicket as I always get mentioned but whether Mitchell Johnson has his moustache on or not, it will not affect the way he bowls,” said Hughes of Johnson.

“They have an outstanding bowling line up with Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn so we are going to have to be at our very best to beat the South Africans. What you expect and what you hope for are two different things,” added Hughes who also feels that playing against South Africa will be an ever greater challenge for Australia than the recently concluded Ashes series.

Despite the absence of Jacques Kallis for the Proteas, Australia will still have other key players like Graeme Smith, AB De Villiers and Hashim Amla to contend with.

“South Africa is going to be unsettled with the loss of Jacques Kallis but they have a number of good players,” said Hughes.

“All the indications are very good. It has been a great bowling group really. Ryan Harris has been that steady bloke and if you had said he would play all five Tests and the start of the series you would have been surprised. Peter Siddle goes from strength to strength, has been the backbone of the attack for a couple of years now, been doing very well. Nathan Lyon has been outstanding. If you have a bowling group gelling together it makes things a lot easier,” added Hughes who is impressed by the Australian bowling attack of Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon.

On being queried about the  South African bowling attack Hughes replied,” Dale Steyn has been tried and tested over a period of time and bowls quick, his success rate against Australia has been pretty good. He leads from the front. They have a good bowling combination, work well in unison. Morkel plays a sort of Mitchell Johnson role. He will run in back of a length, try and pound the batsmen into submission. Philander has come on, pitches up and nips it around off the seam and air. I rate Steyn as South Africa’s most dangerous bowler you don’t discount the other two.”

While playing South Africa at home will be a different ball game altogether, Hughes also feels that Australia will not be provided the luxury of scoring runs deep down the order, as wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin did, scoring 461 runs in four of the five Test matches against England.

With George Bailey getting the axe, the No 3 and No 6 positions in the Australian batting remains vacant, with Shane Watson, newbie Alex Doolan and Phil Hughes amongst the contenders for the spots.

“We have to get more consistent with our batting but most of the batsman made hundreds in the recent series and hopefully the guys can continue on with a win over there,” signed off Hughes.

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions CLT20 2014: KKR labour to 4 wicket win

CLT20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7: 5 key battles

Before Mitchell Marsh, Surinder Amarnath had hit sixes off last two balls to win a match in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

CLT20 2014: Mitchell Marsh stakes his claim for a spot in Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad with late blitz for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions

CLT20 2014: KKR look to do well in atleast two departments, says Suryakumar Yadav

Michael Clarke dismisses suggestions of quitting one-day cricket

Northern Knights deny reports of Kane Williamson bowling left-handed to overcome ICC ban

CLT20 2014: Ben Dunk praises Aiden Blizzard for his match-winning knock against Cape Cobras

Sachin Tendulkar’s bat, tie and t-shirt auctioned for orphan children in Pune

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Jalaluddin takes first ODI hat-trick

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Cape Cobras v Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 — Highlights

Fan of the Day

Cyrus Irani

Cyrus Irani

770 Posts | 24 Fans

Italy 0 Costa Rica 1 Full Match Highlights and Goals Video: FIFA World Cup 2014 Match 24

Aamir Khan flaunts abs during ‘PK’ shoot

Subterranean base that humbled a superpower, reunited Vietnam

Yahoo acquires Bangalore-based startup Bookpad for Rs 50 crore

Upen Patel is the Best dressed contestant in the Bigg Boss 8 house!

Google in talks with Airtel to bring carrier billing for in-app purchases: Report

Shah Rukh Khan beats Salman Khan to win best abs poll!

Box office collection: Parineeti Chopra’s Daawat-e-Ishq races ahead of Sonam Kapoor’s Khoobsurat!

Merseyside Police investigate racist tweets directed towards Mario Balotelli after Manchester United jibe

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here