England ‘bounced out’ in Ashes opener

By AFP
Published: November 24, 2013
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ON FIRE: Rejuvenated Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson blitzed England with a haul of five for 42 to lead his country to an emphatic 381-run victory in the first Ashes Test on Sunday. PHOTO: AFP

ON FIRE: Rejuvenated Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson blitzed England with a haul of five for 42 to lead his country to an emphatic 381-run victory in the first Ashes Test on Sunday. PHOTO: AFP

BRISBANE: Mitchell Johnson on Sunday vowed to continue his fearsome short-pitched bowling throughout the Ashes series after his man-of-the-match performance in Australia’s emphatic 381-run win over England at the Gabba.

The Australians dismissed England for 179 late on the fourth day to complete a commanding performance.

The left-arm speedster was the difference between the sides with his assault on the batsmen finishing with nine wickets for 103 in the match; the all-rounder also hit 64 in Australia’s first innings.

Johnson regularly clocked up speeds of almost 150 km/h 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,” he said. “I think when you’ve got conditions like that, personally I like bowling the short ball and I think it worked very well.

“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.

“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.”

However, England captain Alastair Cook defended Trott and said, “He’s had a tough game, he knows that. You have to remember that the guy’s class though.”

Meanwhile, Australia will stick with a winning team after Sunday naming an unchanged 12-man squad for the second Test in Adelaide, starting on December 5.

Coach Darren Lehmann said he left the way open to add extra players if required following Australia’s huge win over England.

Overworking Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and in particular the injury-prone Ryan Harris is a danger for Australia given the tight turnaround between Adelaide and the third Test in Perth, and the fact that their fast bowling depth is already stretched.

But Lehmann said for a side that has only just broken a nine-match winless streak, winning every match is important.

“We said we would pick the best side possible as long as everyone is 100% fit,” said Lehmann.

“Every Test is important at the moment, obviously good result here but we’ll concentrate on Adelaide. You pick the side that’s going to win the Test match.”

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