Ashes 2013-14: Mitchell Johnson vows to continue with short-pitched bowling

Mitchell Johnson bagged nine wickets in the match and was adjudged Man of the Match © Getty Images

Brisbane: Nov 25, 2013

Mitchell Johnson on Sunday vowed to continue his fearsome short-pitched bowling through the Ashes series after his Man-of-the-Match performance in Australia’s emphatic win over England at the Gabba.

The left-arm speedster was the difference between the sides with his intimidatory bowling and he finished with nine match wickets for 103, as well as hitting 64 in Australia’s first innings.

Johnson regularly clocked up speeds of almost 150 km/h (93 mph) and often hurled down short-pitched deliveries which unsettled the England batsmen on the bouncy Gabba pitch.

“I like bowling short, especially at the Gabba. I think when you’ve got conditions like that, personally I like bowling the short ball and I think it worked very well,” he said.

“I think you can get inside a batsman’s head. It could be a very different wicket down in Adelaide [second Test], but out there [Gabba] it was definitely going through nicely. I’ll keep doing it. It’s working.”

Johnson, who blasted out Jonathan Trott twice cheaply in the Gabba Test, said he felt fear from the England number three facing him during the match.

“He’s been thinking about the short ball from what I’ve seen in the nets, practising a lot of short ones,” Johnson said of Trott.

“There were a couple of nice ones that were zinging past his nose. As a fast bowler you give a bit of a stare and have a look into the eyes and… I don’t know, there might have been a little bit of fear there, maybe. I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that.” Johnson said.

England captain Alastair Cook defended Trott, who was one of the batting success stories on the last Ashes series in Australia in 2010-11 with 445 runs at 89.00.

“He’s had a tough game, he knows that. You have to remember that the guy’s class though. He’s had a little blip now in these couple of games but he’s a class player and class players bounce back,” Cook said.

“I know he’s been working incredibly hard at the short ball, he’s been trying to work on it in the net sessions, I just think it’s a matter of him trying to take that into the middle. Suddenly, when the pressure and emotion of the game is on there. It’s sometimes tough to think as clearly as you need,” Cook said.

It was 32-year-old Johnson’s eighth five-wicket haul in Tests and third against England, taking him to 214 wickets over his career at 30.11 average.

“To get a five-for in a Test match in an Ashes series is an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “All the boys just racing in and getting in a huddle was a great celebration for us. It was just a great moment something I’ll never forget. It’s a start, but we need to celebrate tonight because it has been a while.”