‘India’s sledging attempt backfired,’ says Mitchell Johnson

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson said on Tuesday that the verbal barrage he received from Indian players at the Gabba last week helped the home side back into the match.

The Indian fielders launched a premeditated attack on Johnson, when he walked to the wicket on day three in Brisbane, with several Indian fielders having plenty to say in early in his innings. Australians were then in trouble at 247 for six, still 161 runs behind India’s first-innings total of 408.

Johnson went on to share 148-run partnership with his skipper Steve Smith. Johnson scored a quick-fire 88. When Johnson was finally dismissed, the deficit had been cut to just 13 runs.

As reported by Cricket Australia website, Johnson said, “It took my mind off the game, which was a good thing because I wasn’t focused on the scoreboard. I was able to go out there and play my shots. I wanted to play with good intent. I had a bit of a throw down (before play) and it wasn’t quite the session I wanted. Then to go out there and cop it from a few of their boys, it just played into our hands. I was able to play my game and not worry about anything.”

Johnson said that he enjoyed exchanging words and felt that the India’s sledging back-fired them.

“It’s all part of the game but I think it took them off their game. They went a bit too far maybe,” he noted.

Rohit Sharma got into a verbal altercation with him but the left-hander just smiled back at the fielder before proceeding to play a memorable knock.

“I said a few words early and then just let it go after that and just started smiling at Rohit Sharma. He seemed to come in a fair bit and had a fair bit to say. I don’t think he had the greatest game and I think maybe he was just a bit frustrated,” Johnson added.

Australia and India will now face each other at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Boxing Day. With two wins, Australia would just need a draw to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.