Johnson ready for one-day return
Mitchell Johnson is ready for his first match in more than a month after a much-needed rest period over January. Johnson will play in the final of the one-day tri-series in Perth on Sunday and it will be his first outing since the Boxing Day Test draw against India, after which he rested with what was originally described as hamstring soreness.
From the start of the 2013-14 Ashes until the end of the 2014 calendar year, Johnson had sent down 602 overs in all international cricket, the most of any fast bowlers during that period and fewer only than spinners Rangana Herath and Nathan Lyon. Given the demands of the upcoming World Cup and tours of West Indies and England, Johnson hopes he is better for the break.
"I needed a fair bit of a rest," Johnson told reporters in Perth on Friday. "I think it'd probably been a big 12 months personally, but for all the bowlers as well. The UAE was quite tough. We bowled a lot of overs there and then coming into Australia the wickets were a little bit flatter than we expected. There were a lot of runs scored through the Test series. The body now is fully recovered and ready to go.
"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm feeling rested. I don't have any soreness there anymore, so I'm feeling pretty good. It'll be nice to play on a nice fast, bouncy wicket again. I'm looking forward to getting out there ... I know the South African series we played there, the wicket just got quicker and quicker. I'm really looking forward to playing on a nice wicket."
In Johnson's absence during the tri-series, Mitchell Starc has dominated the Australian attack and leads the tournament wicket tally with 12 victims at 13.00. The success of Starc, the importance of allrounder James Faulkner and the experience and speed of Johnson could mean that Australia play three left-arm fast men during the World Cup.
"He's been doing that for a while in the shorter forms," Johnson said of Starc. "I've been really impressed with him. Earlier in the IPL he was doing it there and he's just continued his form. He's really comfortable with his bowling in one-day cricket. He swings the ball and bowls fast.
"I'm really looking forward to getting out there again and bowling and working with him. I think we bowl well together in the short form and hopefully we can bowl well together at the WACA. There's actually three left-armers but two opening bowlers.
"It's really exciting for me. You don't often see it but it's really nice to be able to work with him. He's young, he's aggressive and he loves bowling. I'm looking forward to that."