England v Australia, 2nd ODI, NatWest Series, The Oval July 1, 2012

Johnson endures miserable comeback

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Given that it was Mitchell Johnson's first game for Australia since November 2011, and in a country where he has suffered more than the usual share of bowling misadventure, Michael Clarke was careful not to criticise his wayward fast bowler. Yet Johnson's difficulties on his return from a long-term foot injury epitomised the struggles of Australia's bowlers against a highly organised England, and scripted another unhappy chapter in his enigmatic career.

Called into the side to replace the injured Pat Cummins, and chosen ahead of James Pattinson and Ben Hilfenhaus, Johnson's first two overs cost 20 and he finished the day wicketless, having also delivered four no-balls and two wides in seven overs that leaked 43 runs. He demonstrated an adjusted approach to the bowling crease and a slightly higher action and gained some swing with the new ball, but overall it was an unpleasant return.

Clarke spoke of the indiscipline of the bowling attack generally, but would offer only praise for Johnson. "He's been very good, he's been high on confidence, he's been bowling really well in the nets," Clarke said. "It's his first game back as well so it's going to take a bit of time, but Mitch was really looking forward to his opportunity today. It was unfortunate we couldn't get a win up, but it is great to have him back around the group.

"You need to be able to control the ball. I think our bowling in general we didn't control the ball enough against good opposition, good batters, on a pretty good wicket. We bowled too many wides and no-balls as well - they're so costly, not only is it a no-ball but you get a free-hit afterwards. So we've got areas we need to improve very quickly, not only with the bat but also with the ball."

Clarke explained that Johnson was considered a more explosive bowling option than either Pattinson or Hilfenhaus and also favoured his left-arm variety to pose different questions for England's batsmen. However the obstacle of facing a team he has had more difficult days against than strong ones, in a country where he is only likely to be ridiculed rather than revered by crowds, did not help Johnson's cause.

"Mitch has been bowling very well in the nets, he's got good pace, as Pat Cummins does," Clarke said. "Pat Cummins has got that x-factor, and we thought Mitch does as well, he's left-arm so he brought something different, and as you've seen today he's swinging the ball."

Cummins meanwhile will fly home tomorrow, after the latest injury in his brief career. Clarke said the decision to send Cummins home was as much about prevention of further injury as cure of the current side strain, but could not hide his irritation at losing another fast bowler.

"He's obviously very disappointed, I don't know how severe it is," Clarke said. "He's going home tomorrow but there's a bit of precaution there as well, we want to make sure we look after him. It's a big loss, not only for the team but for him as well, he was looking forward to spending some time in England and getting some cricket under his belt, so it's frustrating."

Between Johnson's struggles, Cummins' injury and the juggling of six pacemen on a brief tour, it has all added up to a testing job trial for the interim bowling coach Ali de Winter, who has indicated his intention to apply for the fulltime job at the conclusion of the trip. Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan captain and coach, is another contender.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • on July 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    To the guys that bagged me for saying MJ is useless....Humble pie anyone :-)

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    @Jono Makim - firstly, I'd go Watto as opener & I do like Wade in the top 3, however, Watto's best performances (except for a couple of innings @ #7), have all been as opener. Just like with Clarke @ #4, I am loathed to "fix" something that IMO ain't broke. With respect to Wade, I often pencil him at #3, he plays in the top 4 for Victoria mostly so is experienced. I have often thought about Dan Christian @ #3 to cash in on his power hitting, & am interested to see how White tracks over the next few 6 mths or so, as I think that would be a good spot for him. As for O'Keefe, your probably right - although at least he is a better bat than Doherty & that would be an improvement if he can match XDs bowling performances. As for Lyon - you are right, I see no reason why he wouldn't become Swann-like in performance over a bit of time. That being said - I am happy NOT to have him in the ODI side as I fear short forms can ruin a spinner (read Harbhajan).

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (July 03 2012, 06:09 AM GMT) If they are not motivated then it's a bit foolish. Eng winning 5-0 in all honesty is pretty unrealistic but I'm presuming Aus will drop a point with a defeat of any kind and would drop maybe 2 points if they lost by 2 or 3 (3-1,3-0,4-1 - re 1st 2 could be rainouts) and should they drop 2 points then SA and Eng play each other and SA could go ahead of Aus with a decent win. I can't google up the rankings predictor at present so these are educated guesses

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    @straight_drive4 on (July 02 2012, 01:59 AM GMT) 5W was on here throughout the Pak whitewash in tests and India whitewash in ODIs , defending Eng against a multitude of bad comms. I can't remember him commenting much (if at all) during the Pak ODI/T20 series but then we won those so that would go against the fairweather accusations. Also I've not noticed your comms on here before so unless you have quietly been reading but not commenting.. but that would seem unlikely? PLEASE PUBLISH

  • A_Vacant_Slip on July 3, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Which is better bowler - Finn or Johnson..? er, let me think.... Mind you - MJ does have that "X" factor - Xasperating...! :-)

  • on July 3, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, true that you've managed to find a passable replacement for KP (though I think Bell will be found out when he has to open the battingwith a quality spinner bowling at him). Aussies were already trying to replace Ponting, so Hussey on top just leaves a really big hole, thank god he'll be back until they can find the right man. @Meety, I think the Aussies need to put Wade into open with Warner and set Watson at 3. This would be in my opinion a very good top three in all conditions. With Clarke at 4 followed by the two Husseys or perhaps Mussey, Maxwell. Who knows, Maxwell may become the next Andrew Symonds. Like you I think we need to look past Doherty but another dart thrower in O'Keefe is not the solution in my opinion. They need to pick Lyon, he spins it, he flights it, he'll take wickets.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - mentioned on another thread that I am getting to the end of my patience with Doherty in ODIs. I was however surprised that benchmarking him against Hauritz & Swann - he wasn't too bad. I just am looking for a bit more penetration & maybe O'Keefe could provide that, even though 50 over cricket is his weakest format, & then there is the obvious batting ability.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    @jono makim - nope, haven't seen him bowl live at a ground, saw him briefly on TV & I thought he was par (bowling). I put him in the side as I think he would be a step up on DHussey & no worse than Doherty AND given he has a List A batting S/R of 140+, would be a very useful lower order option, bowling 5 or 6 overs a match. @ jmcilhinney - the players we selected for this series, theoretically could get the job done. The Oz side came to win the series (still MIGHT), but haven't been good enough. In situations like this, there will always be conjecture about the strength of the side, in theory the squad is/was full strength at the start of the series with the exception of missing MHussey. Behind_the_bowlers_arm - has valid points about Bailey & Forrest, when there are better options back home in Voges, Ferguson & North, as well as young gun Burns. The point I think that was being made is that the powers that be (rightly or wrongly) are looking at Bailey & Forrest for tests.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (July 03 2012, 07:53 AM GMT), your implication that Australia are experimenting with backup players until their real players turn up smacks of denial. While I always take what players and coaches say in press conferences with a grain of salt, Michael Clarke has said that it is Australia's aim to be #1 in all formats. Whether or not it's a realistic aim, I do believe it when he says that it's an aim. Do you really think that he and the rest would be prepared to meekly give up the #1 ranking in ODIs? Some said it was disrespectful to WI when Anderson was rested with the series already won. How arrogant would Australia have to be to think that they could get away with fielding a B team for several full series and stay at the top? If that is the case, which I doubt, then I doubly hope that England win 5-0 and heads roll as a result.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (July 03 2012, 07:11 AM GMT), you're quite right that any team would miss a player of the calibre of Mike Hussey and you're quite right that Morgan would be a hard man to replace in the England side. That said, England have just lost Kevin Pietersen from their ODI team and they seem to be handling that much better than Australia is the loss of Hussey. Of course, Australia will be getting Hussey back while England won't see Pietersen again, but how much longer will Hussey play anyway? I'm guessing until the next Ashes or, if Australia lose that, the following Ashes at the most.

  • on July 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    To the guys that bagged me for saying MJ is useless....Humble pie anyone :-)

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    @Jono Makim - firstly, I'd go Watto as opener & I do like Wade in the top 3, however, Watto's best performances (except for a couple of innings @ #7), have all been as opener. Just like with Clarke @ #4, I am loathed to "fix" something that IMO ain't broke. With respect to Wade, I often pencil him at #3, he plays in the top 4 for Victoria mostly so is experienced. I have often thought about Dan Christian @ #3 to cash in on his power hitting, & am interested to see how White tracks over the next few 6 mths or so, as I think that would be a good spot for him. As for O'Keefe, your probably right - although at least he is a better bat than Doherty & that would be an improvement if he can match XDs bowling performances. As for Lyon - you are right, I see no reason why he wouldn't become Swann-like in performance over a bit of time. That being said - I am happy NOT to have him in the ODI side as I fear short forms can ruin a spinner (read Harbhajan).

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (July 03 2012, 06:09 AM GMT) If they are not motivated then it's a bit foolish. Eng winning 5-0 in all honesty is pretty unrealistic but I'm presuming Aus will drop a point with a defeat of any kind and would drop maybe 2 points if they lost by 2 or 3 (3-1,3-0,4-1 - re 1st 2 could be rainouts) and should they drop 2 points then SA and Eng play each other and SA could go ahead of Aus with a decent win. I can't google up the rankings predictor at present so these are educated guesses

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    @straight_drive4 on (July 02 2012, 01:59 AM GMT) 5W was on here throughout the Pak whitewash in tests and India whitewash in ODIs , defending Eng against a multitude of bad comms. I can't remember him commenting much (if at all) during the Pak ODI/T20 series but then we won those so that would go against the fairweather accusations. Also I've not noticed your comms on here before so unless you have quietly been reading but not commenting.. but that would seem unlikely? PLEASE PUBLISH

  • A_Vacant_Slip on July 3, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Which is better bowler - Finn or Johnson..? er, let me think.... Mind you - MJ does have that "X" factor - Xasperating...! :-)

  • on July 3, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, true that you've managed to find a passable replacement for KP (though I think Bell will be found out when he has to open the battingwith a quality spinner bowling at him). Aussies were already trying to replace Ponting, so Hussey on top just leaves a really big hole, thank god he'll be back until they can find the right man. @Meety, I think the Aussies need to put Wade into open with Warner and set Watson at 3. This would be in my opinion a very good top three in all conditions. With Clarke at 4 followed by the two Husseys or perhaps Mussey, Maxwell. Who knows, Maxwell may become the next Andrew Symonds. Like you I think we need to look past Doherty but another dart thrower in O'Keefe is not the solution in my opinion. They need to pick Lyon, he spins it, he flights it, he'll take wickets.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - mentioned on another thread that I am getting to the end of my patience with Doherty in ODIs. I was however surprised that benchmarking him against Hauritz & Swann - he wasn't too bad. I just am looking for a bit more penetration & maybe O'Keefe could provide that, even though 50 over cricket is his weakest format, & then there is the obvious batting ability.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    @jono makim - nope, haven't seen him bowl live at a ground, saw him briefly on TV & I thought he was par (bowling). I put him in the side as I think he would be a step up on DHussey & no worse than Doherty AND given he has a List A batting S/R of 140+, would be a very useful lower order option, bowling 5 or 6 overs a match. @ jmcilhinney - the players we selected for this series, theoretically could get the job done. The Oz side came to win the series (still MIGHT), but haven't been good enough. In situations like this, there will always be conjecture about the strength of the side, in theory the squad is/was full strength at the start of the series with the exception of missing MHussey. Behind_the_bowlers_arm - has valid points about Bailey & Forrest, when there are better options back home in Voges, Ferguson & North, as well as young gun Burns. The point I think that was being made is that the powers that be (rightly or wrongly) are looking at Bailey & Forrest for tests.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (July 03 2012, 07:53 AM GMT), your implication that Australia are experimenting with backup players until their real players turn up smacks of denial. While I always take what players and coaches say in press conferences with a grain of salt, Michael Clarke has said that it is Australia's aim to be #1 in all formats. Whether or not it's a realistic aim, I do believe it when he says that it's an aim. Do you really think that he and the rest would be prepared to meekly give up the #1 ranking in ODIs? Some said it was disrespectful to WI when Anderson was rested with the series already won. How arrogant would Australia have to be to think that they could get away with fielding a B team for several full series and stay at the top? If that is the case, which I doubt, then I doubly hope that England win 5-0 and heads roll as a result.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (July 03 2012, 07:11 AM GMT), you're quite right that any team would miss a player of the calibre of Mike Hussey and you're quite right that Morgan would be a hard man to replace in the England side. That said, England have just lost Kevin Pietersen from their ODI team and they seem to be handling that much better than Australia is the loss of Hussey. Of course, Australia will be getting Hussey back while England won't see Pietersen again, but how much longer will Hussey play anyway? I'm guessing until the next Ashes or, if Australia lose that, the following Ashes at the most.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on July 3, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Meety, I guess my team was for a one off ODI without the pressures of player management. I agree Lee is still doing a job and am enjoying him still playing. Id also like to see Steve O'Keefe brought into the fold somehow. Not sure why he is so overlooked. @jmcilhinney....Yes, they did play in the West Indies but we'll have to disagree about the reasons. They probably are second level ODI players (behind MY team) but i feel they are being used to let them be around the group, get experience etc with the main goal of moving them towards possible Test selection given the age of Ponting & M Hussey. As ive said many times on this board the Aust A portion of the tour is more important and the team picked for the two 4 day games will be very interesting. Those games may say more about next years Ashes than these.

  • on July 3, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    @Meety, have you seen Maxwell bowl at all? I've not seen him play any cricket at all but he certainly has a good batting strike rate. May well be a far better option than Smith. @jmcilhinney, Any team would miss Mike Hussey, Australia is just very lucky he came in so quickly behind Michael Bevan, looks like Wade may get this role now. Who else in England could replace Morgan at his best, for example? Not too many.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (July 02 2012, 20:07 PM GMT), given that both Forrest and Bailey featured in the recent ODI series against WI in the Caribbean, I don't see how you can conclude that their inclusion in this series is a case of "tryiong out non-ODI batsmen". Those two may not turn out to be part of Australia's best ODI line-up but they are not there now to see whether they might play Tests next year. They are there because the Australian selectors believe that they deserve to be. If these are Australia's second-tier batsmen then maybe you should have a conversation with a certain someone who likes to tell stories about how thin England's batting stocks are. There's no doubt that Mike Hussey is a big loss but the fact that he is such a big loss is of grave concern. As for Hughes, maybe he'll be a hit this time around after being a miss twice before but that's far from guaranteed and Mitchell Marsh is promising but untested at this level.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    @Penzance_opinion on (July 02 2012, 15:59 PM GMT), I don't necessarily agree with your assessment that Australia aren't motivated. It's all very well to say that after seeing some poor performances but the fact that a team plays poorly does not necessarily mean that they are not motivated. Lack of motivation can certainly be a factor but I didn't hear anyone say anything about lack of motivation from Australia before the series. If they want motivation then they need to realise that playing in the last three games like they did in the first two means giving up the #1 ODI ranking to England. I can't imagine that that wouldn't be motivating to any Australian cricketer.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    @5wombats/Penzance_opinion - I would love to say that Oz are NOT motivated, it would be a great little snub of England's performance thus far, however, I would say that every player in the Oz side is VERY motivated, the coaching staff too. The fact is there is no short amount of pride in results, & the #1 ranking could fall. That all being said, I don't think this series was prioritised as a "must win" event & the Oz "brain-trust" has some other goals in mind. So I sort of agree, I just wouldn't use the word "motivated", maybe conflicted or distracted or...... foxing? (LOL!) @landl47 - relevance is a little bit "smokey" (IMO). I don't think the ODI results will have any DIRECT relationship to the Ashes, however, there are many minor notes that could resonate later inthe Ashes. Before this series started, I was hoping for a good showing & wanted to see Patto & Cummins rip in & take wickets & Warner & Watto scoring runs would of pleased irrespective of the ultimate result.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - well said! I would SLIGHTLY alter your side in swapping Hughes to #3 & Watto to open, with Clarke staying @ #4 where he is superb. Where I differ is in the bowling line up, atm I still think Lee is world class & I agree that he does a job by reducing the workload on Test bowlers. My bowlers would be (in batting order), #8. MJ (assuming he returns to somewhere near his career ODI stats), #9. Lee, #10. McKay (his stats are 1st class), #11. Beer/Holland (excluding Krezja, they are the next best performing spinners in the Ryobi). I think if you pick 4 specialist pacers + Watto, you have too much "sameness" about the attack. WHEN M Hussey & Lee retires (or are dropped), I would say that Christian should get a go at #7, but a side post Huss maybe 1. Warner, 2. Watto, 3. Hughes, 4. Clarke, 5. D Hussey, 6. Wade, 7. Christian, 8. Maxwell/O'Keefe, 9. MJ, 10. McDermott, 11. McKay - 12th Smith, MMarsh & J Burns. Leave Starc for Tests & need to see how MMarsh returns.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on July 2, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    Its a difficult situation for Clarke as you obviously cant come out and bag a player so have to run through the cliches. He obviously knows Aust are using Lee, McKay & Johnson here to manage bowling workloads for the Test bowlers so Hilfenhaus & Pattinson sit and watch while Harris, Siddle and now Cummins are at home. The obvious choice if a left armer is required is the far superior Starc but presumably letting him settle at Yorkshire is felt more useful before he plays against the England Lions in 2 four day games. I can understand the strategy and the need to prepare for next years Ashes by trying out non-ODI batsmen like Forrest and Bailey but it would have been nice to see a team (subject to injuries and baby duty) that could compete with England like 1 P Hughes 2 Warner 3 Wade 4 Watson 5 Clarke 6 M Hussey 7 D Hussey 8 Mitch Marsh 9 Pattinson 10 Hilfenhaus 11 Starc.

  • 5wombats on July 2, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    @Penzance_opinion - welcome to cricinfo! Think you've got a good point there about the Australians not being motivated. This is very evidently a team that Aussie have brought here in order to get some of their players some experience in England. Agree with you too in large measure about the composition of the current England ODI batting; it's designed to play to it's strength which is to accumulate, take few chances and then go for a blitz at the end. The England ODI bowling (when at full strength) is good enough to restrain most teams on most surfaces. Not so sure about your conclusion - it's too soon to say what will happen to England and the other teams in the lead up to the World Cup. Even so - like your post and keep it coming!!!

  • Penzance_opinion on July 2, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    No point everyone getting their knickers in a twist by heaping too much praise on England and laying into the Aussies. Fact of the matter is the Aussies are not motivated for this series at all and England are keen to make a point with the South Africans just around the corner. I think with the line up England have gone for, sticking with largely a test batting line up, They are acknowledging that they are not going to score 300+ very often but are confident of always posting a competitive 250+. This tactic will work fine over here, but will see them come unstuck in the word Cup in 2014.

  • landl47 on July 2, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    @Marcio: why do you feel that the ODI series after the 2010/11 Ashes has any relevance at all to the sides now? Both sides were half-strength and coming off a gruelling test series. Australia was more motivated than England because they'd lost the Ashes. Let's take the last game of the series. England had exactly 4 players in that game who played in yesterday's match- Trott, Bell, Morgan and Finn. England's bowling 'attack' was Anderson, who was exhausted after all his work in the Ashes, Finn and Woakes, who were both 21, Yardy, Pietersen and Trott! England made 333-6 (so Australia's bowling wasn't much better) and Aus scraped home with 334-8 in the last over. To show how meaningless those post-Ashes series are, England won the triangular tournament with Aus and NZ after the 2005/6 Ashes, beating Aus 2-0 in the best of 3 final. Aus won the World Cup a couple of months later. The only non-post Ashes series since then was won 3-2 by England in 2010. If you want a comparison, that's it.

  • Lara4life501 on July 2, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    @Doogius-Finn, Broad, Anderson and Swann 'Like the West Indies attack of the 80's' YOU CANT BE SERIOUS!!! There are massive holes in the English bowling attack trust me, If Anderson doesnt recover before the start of the SA test series, I fear for England...they have no one who can carry the attack themselves without Anderson, all these wins are doing is papering over the very pronounced crack that is starting to appear...Broad is yet to doing anything for mine in the bowling department, tell me when (excluding against the WI) were he has single handidly ripped a QUALITY batting order apart??? Secondly, were are all the young and emerging quicks coming through for England...Jade Dernbach??? Please, average at best? Yes, you have quality batsman England, but there is no way you will dominate test cricket like the West Indies of the 1980's through to the mid 1990's or Australia from the 90's to mid 2000's...enjoy your 15 mins in the sun England

  • JG2704 on July 2, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    @Marcio on (July 02 2012, 12:38 PM GMT) Is Johnson not that great at ODIs then? On a thread re the Aus thread there were loads of Eng commentors joking about his inclusion but then there were Aus commenters (some of who I fully respect the opinions of) who were saying that Mitch was still a decent ODI player. The ICC rank him as the best Oz ODI player so have they got that badly wrong? I'd also agree that our batsmen are mostly accumulators so it's more a patience thing which is why your best bowler so far (Mckay) has been a guy who is not teh quickest but spot on with line and length. Pattinson could take wickets but I also think he's a bit erratic and could go for a lot of runs in this format

  • JG2704 on July 2, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    @Doogius on (July 02 2012, 06:48 AM GMT) Clarke and all the Aus test players all played in the WI series and then went to IPL for a bit of fun and added pension funds , but they all fulfilled their Aus commitments before playing IPL. Re the run out of Wade , I thought it was Wade's call and he started to move , then stopped and then started again. Looked more like Wade's call to me. I actually can't believe anyone can query Clarke's ambition/commitment and I'd say Aus are in a much healthier state than they would be if Clarke wasn't there

  • JG2704 on July 2, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Many neg comms about Mitch , but there were knowledgeable Aus fans back along saying that despite his test decline MJ is still a decent ODI bowler. The ODI player rankings who have MJ as their best bowler would back that up. He's had a bad game for sure but then Watson didn't have the greatest game in the 1st match either and he's ranked 2nd Aus ODI bowler. The only bowler who has shown regular consistency so far has been Mckay. I still like Starc but maybe his recent form is flattering

  • Guthers007 on July 2, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Johnson is way past it! Let's move on to the young guys.

  • Marcio on July 2, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    It never ceases to amaze me how people make so much of such short-term ups and downs of cricketing life. Two losses does not mean the end of the world, nor does two wins make England unbeatable. They were beaten 5-0 by India recently, and we beat them 6-1 at home 18 months ago. As for Johnson, his selection is indeed strange. This would have been a good series to give more youngsters a run. Mitchel Starc is already a better bolwer than Johnson, so why, given that he is a decade younger, is he playing county cricket? Johnson's 1st 2 overs was like watching a recurring nightmare, and completely threw the game into England's hands psychologically. England's batsmen are mostly solid accumulators, not guys who are going to take a bowler apart. So its not like they are going to strike terror into our youngsters!

  • landl47 on July 2, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    This Aussie side is beginning to look more and more like the England side of the 1990s. Ignore Johnson for the moment. Steve Smith is picked as a #6 batsman and, presumably, all-rounder. Bailey is picked as a #3 batsman. Smith doesn't make any runs and Clarke doesn't give him a bowl. Bailey makes 29 in 38 balls, not too bad. After just one game, Smith is dropped, Forrest comes in at #3, Bailey is moved to #5, traditionally a hitter's slot, Hussey to #6. Forrest and Clarke, at #3 and 4, make 22 runs between them in 51 balls, a strike rate of 43. Bailey makes 65 at a strike rate of 75. It's BAILEY who gets criticised! What happens for the next game? They drop someone else, move the batsmen around again? This is exactly what England used to do and why we never improved. This isn't a very strong Aus side, by Aus standards, but continually messing about with it won't make it stronger. As all long-time England supporters will tell you, we've been there, we know what it's like.

  • Abdurrazaaq on July 2, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    England have really become an unstoppable force in their own country, and they know their conditions so well. Finn is really bowling well, and their middle order look the part. If South Africa cant beat them later this season then no one will.

  • MartinC on July 2, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    As an Englishman I find the focus on the Aussie bowlers to be interesting - I would say its your batting which has been more at fault in the losing the last two games than your bowling. Your bowling is stronger and has more depth than your batting from what we have seen so far - not that thats saying much.

    Clarke is a class player and Warner is a dangerous player but probably does not have the technique to be consistent in English conditions. Watson is a good all rounder but does not convert his starts into big match winning scores enough (at all?) to be batting in the top 4. The rest are not international class IMO.

    The only player from the Australian side who would get into Englands team no questions asked right now is Clarke for Bopara. Lee might at the expense of Bresnan but even that's not certain.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on July 2, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    For those suggesting a preference for Starc over Johnson, I watched Starc's first performance of the year in England, in a C&G Trophy match for Yorkshire against Sussex, and it was strikingly similar to Johnson's yesterday, especially in terms of sending down a profligate first spell with plenty of no-balls and expensive free-hits. Starc's done pretty well since. Johnson too is clearly not a bad bowler, but he doesn't have much time to adjust.

  • on July 2, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson is one of the most overrated players around. He does have the odd matchwinning performance, but tbh I've seen him lose the Aussies as many games as I've seen him win them.

    More than anything else Johnson is a confidence player - wheras some players can walk in after a period out and hit their stride at once, Johnson needs to find his rhythm and form in lower level matches first. The selectors have other good options, so their selection of Johnson is at best misguided and at worst irresponsible.

    Still, does give me great pleasure as a England supporter to see the Aussies wilting! :D

  • SDHM on July 2, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    I actually thought that, no balls aside, Mitchell wasn't awful yesterday by any stretch of the imagination. He looks to have worked on his action and is standing taller, and therefore the ball was actually tailing in a bit to the right-handers, which as we all know makes him infinitely more dangerous. The fact that this change in action seems to allow him to do it more often is a promising sign for him, but it's just mentally he doesn't seem to have it; the crowd were having a field day every time he strayed in line, and we've seen before that he's not the sort of character who can respond all that well to it. I think that Australia would be better off moving on.

  • Davidgold on July 2, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Sometimes Clarke is such a political spinmeister. Firmly in the Cricket Australia mould. "Going to take time". Sounds just like a reprise of his comment last year that, "Johnson has potential". For Christ's sake, how much rope do you give him? We've been waiting years for him to sort out his accuracy and inconsistency issues and it seems, on one showing, not much has changed. Give Pattinson a go.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 2, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    "Watson questions England batting depth" I did not understand what Watson said before the start of the series. Is that Aussies are batting to No 11 or close to it as we we saw in the first 2 ODI's whereas Poms could not bat that far like they bat only upto No 6 or 7? Please somebody explain me. Would it continue in the next 3 ODI's as Watson mentioned ?

  • dscoll on July 2, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    Aus have a selection of reasonable international quick bowlers, none of who are exceptional, there spin bowlers though are poor.The're playing a better team and consequently the're losing and there's nothing they can do about it. Eng has are 20 - 30 ODI runs better per innings so Aus will do well to win a single game. SA are the real challangers for the No1 spot.

  • Wozza-CY on July 2, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Johnson plays his golden ticket again. Who else in an international set gets to walk back into the team without any games under his belt? The Irony is the selectors aren't doing him any favours, he should have sprayed it in at least ten games before this one. England look to have us covered in every aspect of the game at the moment, they really don't look like losing.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 2, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    @SirViv1973, Mitchell Johnson is the Aussie equiavlent of Devon Malcom, on his day a match winner (Perth 2010/11), but when his radar is off then at best hes mediocre. Sadly he only seems to perform in around 20-25% of the games he plays. coming back from injury doesnt help his case either as hes not really match fit.

  • on July 2, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    cameron white is in the form of his life !! he deserves another chance to prove himself .he is wayy better than steven smith !!

    england are sooo gud at home if one batsman fails others would compensate and they r playing like a team !! still i would like to see them with same records over seas especially in odis !! presently england luk like the aussies team of early 2000's with full of team work !! england hav 2 great finishers in morgan and kieswetter !!

    finn is sooo gud for odis and t20's ,broad too and bresnan is a gud allrounder .

    if england white wash this series they will become no.1 team in all 3 formats at same tym no team did it till now

    would luv to see johnson winning matches for aussies again

  • bluebigally on July 2, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    For God's sake, what is Mitchell Starc doing out of the Aussie attack?

  • on July 2, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Why the hell does MJ still even have a contract? Far too many bowlers are better than him: Lee, Hilfy, Harris, Pattinson, Cummins, Siddle, and the list goes on & on. For ODI's even Watto is better. Aus have no need for the MJ resurrection, their bowlers demolished India and WI recently. It's batting that they need to improve.

  • Potatis on July 2, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    The Australian selectors need to have a good hard look at themselves. As soon as the team was announced I knew things would turn out the way things did, it was very predictable to everyone. Johnson needs to retire, Brett Lee needs a rest for game #3. Bring in Hilfy and Pattinson and tell the slow test batsmen to swing at the ball more to score faster. How hard can it be?

  • 5wombats on July 2, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @straight_drive4 on (July 02 2012, 01:59 AM GMT) - Nice. Pakistan fans would be more respectful, so would Aussies, That leaves only one other possibility...

  • RandyOZ on July 2, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    You can't help but wonder why Johnson was picked over Starc, who, like many have mentioned, is doing quite well in England.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 2, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    @KarachiKid, hes just come back from a number of months off so I dont see how another year or so will do any better, hes mentally shot and his confidence is at an all time low, something we english fans like to point out whenever he picks up a ball, (He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right)

  • on July 2, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    Now is the time for the Aussies to perform. I think they can do it and win the third match.

  • on July 2, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    everybody is talking about AUSSIES bowling but wats about their batting when they scored 60 runs 21-40 overs after scoring 100 in 1st 20 overs.where is CALLUM FERGUSAN averaging over 40 & far better batsman & strike rotator than peter forrest & Bailey.also they need striker like Symonds.Cameroon White is much better than Steve Smith but its AUSSIES selection they can do whatever they want to do. 5-0 is on the cards

  • OneEyedAussie on July 2, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Very poor selection by the Australians...again. Steve Smith isn't a good enough bat not to bowl - if he isn't fit to bowl don't pick him. Forrest, Bailey and Clarke are all sub-80 SR accumulators, we don't need 3 of them in the team - where's C. White? Let's be honest, Lee has seen better days; Johnson bowls 10 terrible overs and also ruins the plans/rhythm of his bowling partner ultimately resulting in 20 terrible overs. I don't know if Harris is fit, but if he is where is he? Doherty seems like he has heart but looks well out of his depth, especially in comparison to Swann - I don't really see him as superior to Hauritz who is also a useful bat. Two limp performances by the Aussies and I'm sure the English will be smelling a whitewash!

  • jackthelad on July 2, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Johnson has always suffered from the ridiculous overblown expectations after one fantastic tour of SA (when nobody had had a chance to look at him). He was then clinically taken apart in the following Ashes series and has never looked the same bowler since - because of course he isn't. He is not a new McGrath, he is not a new Brett Lee, he is a good second-change pace bowler on his day and a costly, wayward liability off it. Australia's continual selecting of him, despite his obvious faults, is a simple result of their philosophy that 'extreme pace is always better than anything else'; but it is only better when it can actually be aimed at the wicket, force errors and get batsmen out.In the case of Johnson, this happens all-too infrequently.

  • on July 2, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    Is anybody else sick of reading about Mitchell Johnson being out of form? He has been in form for 1 single solitary day in the last 2 years... In other words he isn't good enough to play international cricket.

  • KarachiKid on July 2, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Though I am a huge fan of Mitchell Johnson, I dont see any reason that top bowlers, and also in top form, like James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus are on the bench and he is selected ahead of them. Furthermore, what he needs, is a long break. I would have even preferred guys like Starc, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle (all three of whom are considered test specialists ?) above Mitch Jonhson. Like I said Mitch needs a two year lay off. Australia has got such fast bowling resources that they can easily rest one of them if he is not firing. There are so many replacements available.

  • Big-Dog on July 2, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Johnson always was & always will be too inconsistant for top level cricket. He has been given enough chances. Send him home.

  • on July 2, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Australia lost this game between overs 20 and 35 - they scored just 40 runs in this time, which is just awful! Clarke suggested that Swann was the most important bowler, and he is right in a way, but Bailey and Hussey were equally as poor at rotating the strike. Ultimately England are clearly the better team in these conditions. Their batting and certainly their bowling looks superior. Australia will have to play above themselves to win two of these games, let alone the remaining three. Johnson is a minor joke at best and a major backward step at worst, and shouldn't have been selected.

  • on July 2, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    Yawn, time to bring in Hilfy and Patto for their token run out... maybe we can call up Phil, Ussie and Mitch Starc for game five... is it too late for dan christian and Harry to fly over? Surely Tommy Cooper could dart across from Holland.. Is Dirk Nannes still there too? EVERYBODY PANICCCCCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!

  • anver777 on July 2, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    Johnson needs that important match practice to boost his confidence !!!! i'm sure in a couple of games he will be back strongly !!!!

  • zenboomerang on July 2, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    @jmcilhinney... re: Johnsons contract situation - crossed my mind a number of times that it is about the admin trying to shine their medals & justify mistakes rather than pick the best team... re: Clarke - sick & tired of captains/coaches saying a player is bowling/batting in the nets, means nothing on game day if you can't reproduce it... The bottom line is whether they are producing the goods out in the middle - whatever grade or format it is in...

  • Doogius on July 2, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    1stly, as an Ozzie, were in trouble. After 2 games, feels like were trying hard but just not good enough. I never thought I'd say this but with Finn, Broad, Ando etc., it almost feels like a Windies attack of the early 80's. 2ndly, does anyone ever believe a word Clarke says. Clarke - Smiths a good player, reality - dropped for next game, Clarke - Johnsons bowling well - reality - on the next pitch that is, Clarke - Oz comes first, reality - except when IPL is on. That run out of Wade in the first game spoke volumes - its just the kind of bloke he is....

  • zenboomerang on July 2, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    I think most Aussie fans were surprised at rushing Johnson back into such a tough series, would have preferred he just played the Aust A games instead to see where he was at... Either way, one match doesn't prove anything but a pity he was selected before Hilfy who had a reasonable summer... Starc has played many matches over the last 12 mths without seriously breaking down & would be in my ODI squad just on his Ryobi Cup form, let alone how he has done in Eng...

  • SirViv1973 on July 2, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    @Sawifan, I wasn't just talking about MJ as a test player. I first saw him during the CT in 2006 where he bowled very well. I would agree that he was probably at his peak in 08 and his slide really did begin in 09 ashes. I still think at his best he is an asset for Aus.

  • robheinen on July 2, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    I thought we'd seen the last of Mitch Johnson. I'd have taken Stuart Clarke instead. Scottie Muller, maybe?

  • landl47 on July 2, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    Poor Michael Clarke tries so hard to keep positive, but sometimes he just doesn't realize what he's saying. After saying that it wasn't just Johnson but the bowling in general that was undisciplined, he goes on: "We bowled too many wides and no-balls as well - they're so costly, not only is it a no-ball but you get a free-hit afterwards." The only problem is, only one Australian bowler bowled any no-balls- Johnson, who bowled four of them. Johnson was also the only bowler who bowled 2 wides. Nice try, Pup, but you can't say Australia bowled without discipline and then excuse the only bowler who actually was at fault. Still, I suppose Mervo is right and the headline could have been 'All Australia's bowlers except McKay endured a miserable day'.

  • Okakaboka on July 2, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    People .....Stop looking at Spraygun's past performances and statistics. He is a different player now. A grade bowler at best. I would be rotating Pattinson and Starc and get MacDonald into the team to take pressure off Watson. As a matter of fact, MacDonald...Don't tell me I'm wrong..this IS right....is a better more intelligent bowler than Johnston...and, um ...he can actually bat! Christian is better than Johnston...Starc is better.....Siddle bowling left arm is better.....Harris in a wheel chair is better...etc..so is Cousin Windmill!

  • Aspraso on July 2, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    What is Hilfenhaus sitting on the bench for? However I wouldn't be surprised (and the English won't be unhappy) if Johnson is yet retained for the next ODI too. This argument of "bowling well in the nets" reminds me of Ponting's struggles in the playfield, who too was "batting well in the nets" !! What next, Oz meets England in the nets?

  • on July 2, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    Why is johnson in the australian team?, he should be playing in the aus a team after surely hilfenhaus should be in for johnson aus need to win some games. And can someone tell bailey this is not a test match you can't take 20 overs to get your eye in, Aus were doing ok at 2-100 after 20 odd overs.

  • jmcilhinney on July 2, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    We know that Johnson has a central contract this year because he was given a two-year deal last time. I can't help thinking that the selectors have got him in the team in an effort to justify that contract rather than because he deserves it. I agree that he should probably be back in domestic cricket trying to perform his way back into the national team but then CA would be paying for that. When a player is described as having X-factor you can basically read that as their being talented but performing inconsistently. That's Johnson to a tee. I always take anything a sportsman or coach or the like says in a press conference with a grain of salt anyway because it's usually just saying the right things at the right but it's hard to take Clarke's assessment of Johnson too seriously when he's been talking Steve Smith up as an all-rounder yet he didn't bowl in the first game and was dropped for the second.

  • chicko1983 on July 2, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    The best XI currently in England are:

    Hughes, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Dussey, Forrest, Wade, Lee, Starc, McKay, Doherty

  • Reverend-Cavalier on July 2, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    I agree with Pillock....PICK THE BEST TEAM. Why are Steven Smith, George Bailey, David Hussey and Mitchell Johnson in the Australian team. Bailey looked like a rabbit in headlights, Smith looks like he knows he can't cut it at this level and the Poms are having a field day against Hussey. As for Johnson, as soon as the selectors tell him to play out his career for WA and never pick him again, then we'll be a chance of picking the best team.

  • sawifan on July 2, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    @SirViv1973... the 2006/2007 Mitch?! He didn't make his test debut until November 2007. Mitch was at his 'peak' late 2008, early 2009. Then came the 2009 Ashes and its been downhill ever since (with the odd good showing). I was always a big fan of Mitch, but he has had enough chances, and we DO have bowlers waiting in the wings. Even at his best, Mitch was terribly inconsistent. Rarely has he ever had 2 good showing back to back.

  • Hammond on July 2, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    @RandyOZ- I wouldn't be taunting someone with a whitewash, when one is well and truly on the cards for the team you have talked up so hard for the last few months.

  • straight_drive4 on July 2, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    @randyOz - the only thing 5wombats got during the pakistan series was 5 lashings. his head was well and truly buried in you know what. talk about running and hiding.....

  • Pillock on July 2, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    The Australian selectors seem to be continuing with the previous policy of seeing their job as very complicated.They insist on "developing" players and having poor players "around the group". I wish they would realise their job is simple. PICK THE BEST TEAM. Then we might have a chance. Having said that, well done England. Good team effort. Maybe their selectors have a different job description.

  • SixFourOut on July 2, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    Johnson's got talent, there's little doubt, but I just can't put my finger on why he isn't performing. At his best, he is probably top 5 bowler material and top five all rounder, but at his worst, he's god awful

  • ingy7215 on July 2, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    As far as Patrick Cummins misfortune goes....I would much rather him have a few little injury concerns that stops him bowling now....than get a major injury in a few years time that comes from over doing it and that terminates his career...Same goes for James Pattinson....both are pure gold for the future of Aust cricket.... Anyway who cares about a few ODI's v England.....Bring on the Ashes next year (a double dose....!) If Mitch is still playing then we are in big trouble....

  • Meety on July 2, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    Not sure finding form in an International series is the right way to go. That being said, I have never had a problem with MJ's ODI stats, he is more economical than Anderson & Broad by a long way. Clarke is right about needing a left arm variation in the pace department, if this was a very important contest, the left armer would be Starc who is taking wickets for fun in England atm. IMO - MJ has an important place in the overall Oz set up. I would be playing him in the T20 W/Cup & in all ODI series, would be reluctant to bring him into the test structure though. @David Stephens - "...physical jerks..."? What the????

  • on July 2, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Everyone stay calm . This Tour is not about winning or losing , it is a nothing Tour . Just give a few players a tour of England as it may well be the only tour they get . When we head over for a Test Series it will be vastly different to the holiday makers on this trip . Without going into specific players altogether , one can assume that Johnson , Lee , Smith and McKay will not be making the next trip over there . England , as much as I dislike heaping praise on them , or any of our opposing teams , are playing as well as they ever had . They should be recognised as the best side going around at the present time . Australia will have a big job ahead of them , but then that is what brings the cream to the top .

  • nulla on July 1, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    Johnson's continued selection is not proof the cupboard is bare, but he is a favored mate. It would be terrible to think he had to wait till Sheffield Shield started to regain form & attitude- like the majority of players. After all, he has a contract! Why? Ask Pup!

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    Johnson is dead in the water. Why isn't Pattinson playing? I agree that its embarassing we are playing this guy. @5wombats - welcome back, missed you during the entire Pakistan series.

  • MinusZero on July 1, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    How does Clarke not see what everyone else does? he said "favoured his left-arm variety to pose different questions for England's batsmen", obviously the answer from England was thanks for the free runs. Since they are always so much about what someone has done in the past, Johnson's past is full of mediocre performances. I hope he continues to play, makes England's job so much easier. I know that Johnson will have one good game soon enough and they will all be singing his praises, but one good game out of 10 does not make a good player. Consistency is what Johnson lacks, and it is also what Australia needs.

  • SirViv1973 on July 1, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Big Mitch was a real talent 5 or 6 years ago and was right up there with the best quicks in the game and he was a pretty useful lower order bat too. However he's been struggling for several yrs now and has become a figure of fun for many of us Eng fans. Bringing him straight back in to the Aus team isn't going to do them or him any favors. Now he is fit again CA should send him back to play a full season back in state cricket which should be make or break for his international future if he knows he has to really work to get back in to the side then he might just find that desire and spark again. If that happens then he should be in the ashes squad for next summer as he will have a serious point to proove, if it doesn't happen for him at state level after a season back there then it should be obvious that the Johnson of 06/07 has gone for good and oz should move on without him.

  • Jimmy_Jim on July 1, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Why target Johnson? Besides his no balls he bowled fairly well, and it was his second List A/ODI since November 2011. Lee was oh so close to going for six an over as well but all anyone has for him is praise. Still, Pattinson should have been in the team from the outset.

  • Winsome on July 1, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    To give Clarke his due, what would you expect him to say? No point in slagging off a team that is outclassed as it's not really their fault. He's made the points about lack of control and it wasn't just Johnson. Watson was awful last match with the ball and Lee hasn't been much chop either.

  • on July 1, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Send Johnson home. Keep Cummins in England doing physical jerks under supervision. Johnson is mentally fragile. Cummins is physically fragile. Johnson has no future. Cummins does have a future.

  • ingy7215 on July 1, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Wonder if this unimportant little tour is Mitch's last chance tour.....Perhaps the selectors want to see him one last time to see if the break had done him any favours....Surely on the Oval pitch James Pattinson would have been a better option.....fire up with some aggression....diig it into their ribs a few times and unsettle them.....

  • pom_don on July 1, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    He is not the only one is he?

  • boooonnie on July 1, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    I always thought this series was a bit inconsequential - another one day series in the middle of winter just for the sake of making money. The selection of Mitchell Johnson over Pattinson and Hilfy confirms the selectors think the same.

  • InnocentGuy on July 1, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    Ahh they'll be fine. Next match Aus will go in with a "whatever" attitude and Watto will blast a ton and send the Poms scurrying for cover.

  • landl47 on July 1, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Australia seems to be in disarray. If Johnson was picked over Pattinson because he's a better bowler, where does that leave Australia's brave new world? Mitch (he's bowling well in the nets) Johnson is as wayward as ever, Cummins is injured, Pattinson evidently isn't that good, Lee was showing his age today (his last spell was well down in pace), Doherty hasn't looked threatening and only McKay has kept it tight and caused any problems- and he's the guy without a central contract. Everyone, including me, thought that Australia's bowling would be their strong suit, but England has made 272-5 in atrocious conditions and 252-4 in 45.4 overs so far. Given that England are without Pietersen (retired) and are playing 5 bowlers, none of whom have even picked up a bat yet, I'd have expected Aus to do much better. Maybe they will yet, but it's been a poor start.

  • 5wombats on July 1, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    "Mitch has been bowling very well in the nets, he's got good pace....." We've heard this all before. The inclusion of Johnson is final proof that Australia's cupboard is bare. Regulars here on cricinfo have said this all before too. Pity about Cummins - would like to have seen a bit more of him.

  • Carpathian on July 1, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    What on earth is Clarke on about re: Cummins and Johnson? It's as if skill in the middle is irrelevant.

  • Mervo on July 1, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    This headline is not correct. His figures were almost identical to all the Australian bowlers, at about 6/over. Why is only Johnston mentioned?

  • Adoh on July 1, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Yep, let's lose the next three games so that Mitch can find form, that's what I call team spirit! Wait on...I thought Mitch played the Ashes so that he could find form. Oh, I understand now...the purpose of the Australian team is to find form for Mitch, Smith, Bailey, Forrest and Doherty - it's not to actually win games...well, that makes it all okay then. They should introduce real performance based contracts to get a little balance. If you win a contract for so many games, why not lose your contract if you fail to perform for so many games?

  • on July 1, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    I'm sure Mitch is a lovely guy, but he's just simply lost his way, absolutely nothing looks to have changed since his last outing, good net-sessions or not.

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    whoever the coach is it is pretty hard when the bowlers either get hurt or can't remember what pitch they are playing on

  • JG2704 on July 1, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    My favourite memory involving MJ was from the last Ashes. MJ had been chirping at Jimmy and Jimmy then took out one of the Aus tailenders and Jimmy moving backwards just faced Johnson , arms wide open in a "how do you like that?" pose. Seriously MJ either seems to be a match winner or a liability for Aus vs Eng. If I was Aus I'd keep him in the side as by law of averages he'll do something special next time

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  • JG2704 on July 1, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    My favourite memory involving MJ was from the last Ashes. MJ had been chirping at Jimmy and Jimmy then took out one of the Aus tailenders and Jimmy moving backwards just faced Johnson , arms wide open in a "how do you like that?" pose. Seriously MJ either seems to be a match winner or a liability for Aus vs Eng. If I was Aus I'd keep him in the side as by law of averages he'll do something special next time

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    whoever the coach is it is pretty hard when the bowlers either get hurt or can't remember what pitch they are playing on

  • on July 1, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    I'm sure Mitch is a lovely guy, but he's just simply lost his way, absolutely nothing looks to have changed since his last outing, good net-sessions or not.

  • Adoh on July 1, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Yep, let's lose the next three games so that Mitch can find form, that's what I call team spirit! Wait on...I thought Mitch played the Ashes so that he could find form. Oh, I understand now...the purpose of the Australian team is to find form for Mitch, Smith, Bailey, Forrest and Doherty - it's not to actually win games...well, that makes it all okay then. They should introduce real performance based contracts to get a little balance. If you win a contract for so many games, why not lose your contract if you fail to perform for so many games?

  • Mervo on July 1, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    This headline is not correct. His figures were almost identical to all the Australian bowlers, at about 6/over. Why is only Johnston mentioned?

  • Carpathian on July 1, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    What on earth is Clarke on about re: Cummins and Johnson? It's as if skill in the middle is irrelevant.

  • 5wombats on July 1, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    "Mitch has been bowling very well in the nets, he's got good pace....." We've heard this all before. The inclusion of Johnson is final proof that Australia's cupboard is bare. Regulars here on cricinfo have said this all before too. Pity about Cummins - would like to have seen a bit more of him.

  • landl47 on July 1, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Australia seems to be in disarray. If Johnson was picked over Pattinson because he's a better bowler, where does that leave Australia's brave new world? Mitch (he's bowling well in the nets) Johnson is as wayward as ever, Cummins is injured, Pattinson evidently isn't that good, Lee was showing his age today (his last spell was well down in pace), Doherty hasn't looked threatening and only McKay has kept it tight and caused any problems- and he's the guy without a central contract. Everyone, including me, thought that Australia's bowling would be their strong suit, but England has made 272-5 in atrocious conditions and 252-4 in 45.4 overs so far. Given that England are without Pietersen (retired) and are playing 5 bowlers, none of whom have even picked up a bat yet, I'd have expected Aus to do much better. Maybe they will yet, but it's been a poor start.

  • InnocentGuy on July 1, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    Ahh they'll be fine. Next match Aus will go in with a "whatever" attitude and Watto will blast a ton and send the Poms scurrying for cover.

  • boooonnie on July 1, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    I always thought this series was a bit inconsequential - another one day series in the middle of winter just for the sake of making money. The selection of Mitchell Johnson over Pattinson and Hilfy confirms the selectors think the same.