Johnson firms as first Test debutant
Mitchell Johnson's stunning form in India has fuelled his belief that he is ready for a Test debut at the Gabba on November 8. A five-wicket haul in the fifth ODI in India has highlighted his growing maturity on the international stage and leaves him in perfect shape to face Sri Lanka alongside Brett Lee and Stuart Clark.
"I'd be absolutely thrilled if I get picked," he said in the Age. "I think where I was last season when I was 12th man [for the Ashes], I probably wasn't ready. But now I back myself more. If I get that selection, I'd be very thrilled and I think I'd be ready for it."
Johnson has spent a lot of time learning over the past year, which included long stints on the sidelines as he waited for openings in the Test and one-day teams. In India he has been a regular, taking 11 wickets at 19.45, and he showed he could perform under pressure with a double-wicket maiden to shut out India in Nagpur on Sunday.
"It's been a long ride, being 12th man last summer and with the World Cup stuff, but it's been an exciting one for me and I've just enjoyed the whole experience," he said. "If I wasn't around the team [as 12th man], I wouldn't be in this situation now. If I was sitting back at home watching and not being around the guys, it would probably be a different story."
Johnson, who went to Chennai on a pre-season trip to the city's pace academy, has been surprised by his success in India. "I probably didn't expect to get as many wickets as I did," Johnson said. He has another chance to add to his collection during the seventh match in Mumbai on Wednesday.