July 22, 2009

A small hitch for Mitch

It's astounding that people are completely writing Mitchell Johnson off after one bad game
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I'd hate to think Australia would abandon Mitchell Johnson after one bad game. That's all it was at Lord's: one bad game. Every international bowler has been there and it's not the end of the world. He'll be back - and Australia know it. They'll give him the county match against Northamptonshire from Friday to get back in form ahead of the third Test at Edgbaston.

There are a lot of people who are completely writing him off. It's astounding. At Lord's he bowled some short stuff, he bowled some wide stuff and went for 200 runs in 38.4 overs - and got three wickets. In two Tests he has eight victims. Eight! And everyone is panicking! I couldn't average four a game when I was playing. All the criticism is probably a good thing for him; now he can hit back and prove them wrong.

Sure, there are some concerns. His bowling arm is a lot lower than it should be, which comes from a combination of wanting to bowl too fast and trying too hard. He needs his bowling arm to come over the top a little bit more, but then he's never going to be right up there brushing his ear. If he fixes that, he'll be sweet.

When you're trying to bowl too fast, you rock back and your head goes off line. Your body counteracts what it's doing, so if you lean to your left your front leg might go too far to the right in the delivery stride, and suddenly you're out of alignment. If your head is up high and straight, everything can move in a straight line down the pitch. Head position is so important for Mitch.

In two Tests he has eight victims. Eight! And everyone is panicking!

I reckon his team-mates should take him out for a few beers and a good chat. Pat him on the back and tell him "We're here for you." He's here to play cricket - and that's his job - but you're entitled to enjoy your work. Have some fun, relax. But it can be a bit hard to listen to this advice when you're in a rut. You can definitely get quite insular - it's me versus the world. If he sticks to what he knows, does everything he needs to at training, he can just relax and play. If he doesn't, the seeds of doubt can creep in. That can bring you down.

There are loads of support staff travelling with the side, too. I saw the team photo being taken the other day and there are enough blokes in there that someone should be able to help him. Troy Cooley is a wonderful bowling coach and he'll be the only one talking technical bits with Mitch. But the players are going to be as important as the support staff.

I was very fortunate to have Glenn McGrath, Paul Reiffel, Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Andy Bichel and Brett Lee on tour with me at various times. They are all great cricketers and I could call on them about bowling - or anything. Mitch has Lee there, but admittedly Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus are early in their careers. That's where Cooley comes in again.

At least Mitch knows everyone is backing him and wants him to hit back. I had a bad game in 2005 at Old Trafford and I knew Ricky Ponting and all the support staff had lost confidence in my ability. I was far from shocked when I was dropped, and I deserved it. That won't happen to Mitch. Everyone seems to have pretty short memories. Over the past two years Mitch has shown what an important player he is to this line-up. Watch out for him at Edgbaston.

Jason Gillespie is sixth on Australia's list of Test wicket-takers with 259 in 71 matches. He will write for Cricinfo through the 2009 Ashes

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dextergold on July 24, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Gud analysis Jason. Am confident tat Aus will comeback stronger. Johnson is a rare player.Their is no point in dropping him. He can quickly adapt to any situation. Though he conceded more runs in the 2nd test,the way he batted in the last day at lords proves his adaptive nature and maturity. He will teach a gud lesson to eng batsmen in the 3rd test.Watch out for him at edgbaston.. Johnson, Michael Clarke and Watson gonna melt eng at edgbaston !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Maximus77 on July 24, 2009, 2:53 GMT

    I reckon they will win 3-0. There'll be a bit of rain, probably at Cardiff and Headingley, and some thrilling draws.

    LOL.What happened weatherman...

  • demon_bowler on July 24, 2009, 0:56 GMT

    I hate to rub it in, Jason, but it's three bad games (according to reports he was lousy in the warm-up game in Worcester too, scrambling the seam every ball). And he's been getting worse. While he actually got some good wickets with good bowling (after a load of tripe early on) before lunch at Cardiff, by Lord's he was only getting wickets as freebies from England's wayward batsmen (Alastair Cook looked startled to get the only ball Johnson bowled at the stumps all day). And when a fast bowler is reduced to snarling at a departing tail-ender after finally bowling him, when he's just been carted all around the park by that same tail-ender, it's a bit desperate.

    Still, I do admire the way you Aussies all rally around each other. We Brits tend to stick the knife in someone as soon as they fail, unfortunately.

  • TadhgInOz on July 23, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Dizzy, I think we're ahead of ourselves with MJ. He bowled a single fantastic spell in Perth, 3 great innings out of 5 in SA, and the rest of the time he's been an good-but average young(ish) quick. I'd rather see him dropped than left to lose confidence in an Ashes series, where he's the most experienced bowler. He's too valuable. There's also a definite problem - even when the action is right. He has two lines to right handers - Leg Stump (often defended, rather than flicked fine with the contempt top batsmen should hold it in), and full and far too wide of off. Lee had two lengths, was dropped, got it right, and fulfilled his potential. It would make me very happy if the same happened with MJ. And on everyone saying his figures are amazing - he's got 4 wickets a game where you, Dizzy, struggled for 3? Look at his strike rate (worse than Dizzy and Clark), how many deliveries he's bowled (many more than Clark), and his average. He's good, but young with less quality round him.

  • Crusader1980 on July 23, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    Hey Jason, what happened to your 3-0 prediction, c'mon man, you have to agree that this si one of the weakest Australian team for the last 15-20 years. 8 wickets in 2 matches souns good, but there was another Aussie bowler who took 13 wickets in 2 matches... Jazon Krejza, what happened to him..? So its not about quantity its about quality, it would be an understatement to tell that Johnson was the weak link in the Aussie attack in the first two tests.If he is not going to correct his technical flaws,its going to cost Australia more.

  • Bayman on July 23, 2009, 3:19 GMT

    Eight wickets hides a lot of sins. It's not just one bad match Jason, it's two. Ponting clearly lost faith in his strike bowler at Cardiff on the last day and Lord's hasn't helped Ponting recover that faith. We laughed at Harmison's "second slip" ball in Brisbane a couple of years ago but Johnson has been making the slips nervous all tour. And don't forget the Sydney Test vs SA last summer. He finally got Smith with a cracker to win the game but his previous over (with about 10-15 minutes to go) was the worst I've ever seen from a strike bowler trying to snatch a last minute victory. Not one ball within three feet of the off stick and none had to be played by the batsman. With Johnson it really is "all or nothing". Perhaps he should talk again to Akram, or Davidson, and actually listen. As for him being described as a "confidence" player, I don't understand how someone with 102 wickets in 23 Tests, a century and a 96no would lack confidence. Maybe just a "head case".

  • NeilCameron on July 23, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    Back in 1997, the first Test against England was lost pretty badly. England's first innings was based on a huge 207 from Nasser Hussein. This was Glenn McGrath's first Test in England, and he produced some fairly ordinary figures (32-8-107-2). One Test later at Lord's and McGrath had 20.3-8-38-8. Interestingly, McGrath's success was described thus: "He put his improvement since Edgbaston down to finding his form in the two intervening county matches after a start to the tour dominated by one-day matches." Go forward to 2009, and so far, after two Tests, Johnson has not played well. Where are the tour matches against counties for Johnson to hone his bowling? Are these great professional cricketers so wonderful that they don't even need matches against county sides to ease them into form any more? When Watson or McDonald get a place in the xi, will they have any form at all? Or will we wait for Brett Lee to come in and take 20-0-99-1?

  • rohanbala on July 23, 2009, 1:23 GMT

    Thanks Jason for your indepth analysis about Mitchell Johnson's problems.. What MJ needs now is technical advice from players like you and Glen Mcgrath to overcome his current poor bowling form and no doubt, he will come good in the very near future to prove his detractors wrong. On the batting front, someone should soon come forward to sort out Phil Hughes technical problems, as otherwise he might find himself in the reserves.

  • poshpeter4 on July 22, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    Look how good Johnson played in south africa. He must stay. Good on you dizzy.

  • boris6491 on July 22, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    A lot of pressure has been put on Johnson and honestly, we can't just suddenly label him as a world class all rounder after ONE good series. This is exactly what has happened with Flintoff. I am definitely a Johnson fan but such labels are only going to create great expectations. He has been out of touch with the ball in the first couple of tests but deserves more chances based on his reputation. If we see the same from him next test, I'm afraid that other options will need to be considered. However I have faith in Mitch that he can deliver. The same as I have for Phil who is an excellent player and who suffered from a bit of ill luck in the second innings of the last test. I don't believe he should be dropped as we honestly dont have another pure opener. He really is the future of Australian cricket and I just hope he can show the world that.

  • dextergold on July 24, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Gud analysis Jason. Am confident tat Aus will comeback stronger. Johnson is a rare player.Their is no point in dropping him. He can quickly adapt to any situation. Though he conceded more runs in the 2nd test,the way he batted in the last day at lords proves his adaptive nature and maturity. He will teach a gud lesson to eng batsmen in the 3rd test.Watch out for him at edgbaston.. Johnson, Michael Clarke and Watson gonna melt eng at edgbaston !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Maximus77 on July 24, 2009, 2:53 GMT

    I reckon they will win 3-0. There'll be a bit of rain, probably at Cardiff and Headingley, and some thrilling draws.

    LOL.What happened weatherman...

  • demon_bowler on July 24, 2009, 0:56 GMT

    I hate to rub it in, Jason, but it's three bad games (according to reports he was lousy in the warm-up game in Worcester too, scrambling the seam every ball). And he's been getting worse. While he actually got some good wickets with good bowling (after a load of tripe early on) before lunch at Cardiff, by Lord's he was only getting wickets as freebies from England's wayward batsmen (Alastair Cook looked startled to get the only ball Johnson bowled at the stumps all day). And when a fast bowler is reduced to snarling at a departing tail-ender after finally bowling him, when he's just been carted all around the park by that same tail-ender, it's a bit desperate.

    Still, I do admire the way you Aussies all rally around each other. We Brits tend to stick the knife in someone as soon as they fail, unfortunately.

  • TadhgInOz on July 23, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Dizzy, I think we're ahead of ourselves with MJ. He bowled a single fantastic spell in Perth, 3 great innings out of 5 in SA, and the rest of the time he's been an good-but average young(ish) quick. I'd rather see him dropped than left to lose confidence in an Ashes series, where he's the most experienced bowler. He's too valuable. There's also a definite problem - even when the action is right. He has two lines to right handers - Leg Stump (often defended, rather than flicked fine with the contempt top batsmen should hold it in), and full and far too wide of off. Lee had two lengths, was dropped, got it right, and fulfilled his potential. It would make me very happy if the same happened with MJ. And on everyone saying his figures are amazing - he's got 4 wickets a game where you, Dizzy, struggled for 3? Look at his strike rate (worse than Dizzy and Clark), how many deliveries he's bowled (many more than Clark), and his average. He's good, but young with less quality round him.

  • Crusader1980 on July 23, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    Hey Jason, what happened to your 3-0 prediction, c'mon man, you have to agree that this si one of the weakest Australian team for the last 15-20 years. 8 wickets in 2 matches souns good, but there was another Aussie bowler who took 13 wickets in 2 matches... Jazon Krejza, what happened to him..? So its not about quantity its about quality, it would be an understatement to tell that Johnson was the weak link in the Aussie attack in the first two tests.If he is not going to correct his technical flaws,its going to cost Australia more.

  • Bayman on July 23, 2009, 3:19 GMT

    Eight wickets hides a lot of sins. It's not just one bad match Jason, it's two. Ponting clearly lost faith in his strike bowler at Cardiff on the last day and Lord's hasn't helped Ponting recover that faith. We laughed at Harmison's "second slip" ball in Brisbane a couple of years ago but Johnson has been making the slips nervous all tour. And don't forget the Sydney Test vs SA last summer. He finally got Smith with a cracker to win the game but his previous over (with about 10-15 minutes to go) was the worst I've ever seen from a strike bowler trying to snatch a last minute victory. Not one ball within three feet of the off stick and none had to be played by the batsman. With Johnson it really is "all or nothing". Perhaps he should talk again to Akram, or Davidson, and actually listen. As for him being described as a "confidence" player, I don't understand how someone with 102 wickets in 23 Tests, a century and a 96no would lack confidence. Maybe just a "head case".

  • NeilCameron on July 23, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    Back in 1997, the first Test against England was lost pretty badly. England's first innings was based on a huge 207 from Nasser Hussein. This was Glenn McGrath's first Test in England, and he produced some fairly ordinary figures (32-8-107-2). One Test later at Lord's and McGrath had 20.3-8-38-8. Interestingly, McGrath's success was described thus: "He put his improvement since Edgbaston down to finding his form in the two intervening county matches after a start to the tour dominated by one-day matches." Go forward to 2009, and so far, after two Tests, Johnson has not played well. Where are the tour matches against counties for Johnson to hone his bowling? Are these great professional cricketers so wonderful that they don't even need matches against county sides to ease them into form any more? When Watson or McDonald get a place in the xi, will they have any form at all? Or will we wait for Brett Lee to come in and take 20-0-99-1?

  • rohanbala on July 23, 2009, 1:23 GMT

    Thanks Jason for your indepth analysis about Mitchell Johnson's problems.. What MJ needs now is technical advice from players like you and Glen Mcgrath to overcome his current poor bowling form and no doubt, he will come good in the very near future to prove his detractors wrong. On the batting front, someone should soon come forward to sort out Phil Hughes technical problems, as otherwise he might find himself in the reserves.

  • poshpeter4 on July 22, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    Look how good Johnson played in south africa. He must stay. Good on you dizzy.

  • boris6491 on July 22, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    A lot of pressure has been put on Johnson and honestly, we can't just suddenly label him as a world class all rounder after ONE good series. This is exactly what has happened with Flintoff. I am definitely a Johnson fan but such labels are only going to create great expectations. He has been out of touch with the ball in the first couple of tests but deserves more chances based on his reputation. If we see the same from him next test, I'm afraid that other options will need to be considered. However I have faith in Mitch that he can deliver. The same as I have for Phil who is an excellent player and who suffered from a bit of ill luck in the second innings of the last test. I don't believe he should be dropped as we honestly dont have another pure opener. He really is the future of Australian cricket and I just hope he can show the world that.

  • CharonTFm on July 22, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson is a great left arm bowler and a few bad matches is pass and parcel of the game. If you look at his performance, he has averaged pretty well in different pitches all over the world. Yes even in India. The Indian condition is bad for fast bowlers and he has managed to average about 3 wickets per match give or take. It was due to the having Cameron White in the team, with no Lee or Clark that they lost their ability to take 20 wickets.

    He played really well against India in Aus, NZ and SA, so he has shown that he is a class bowler. Just a few bad games and being dropped put's Aus back into the rocky seat of the transitional period when Warne, Gilly, Langer and McGrath retired. They need to have stability and faith in their players now. Hughes has only played a few Test Matches and has done reasonably well, his record in First Class England shows that he can bat in the pitch, he just needs confidence which he is not getting from how he has been playing.

  • squidhead on July 22, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    Dizzy, mate, that last paragraph was heartbreaking. I know I'm not the only one who thought you deserved a lot better than you got in the end. Like you said, everyone has bad games at times. For what it's worth, I can see Johnson medium/long term becoming a pretty decent all-rounder (yes, a little bit like Irfan Pathan - I don't get what all the hating is about here though, he looks more than useful to me) mainly because I don't know if he has the temperament to be the spearhead. He really looks shot here, the body language has been horrible from him and right now it almost seems cruel to leave him out there exposed like that. He wont be abandoned, he's got a role to play for sure, but short term it's gotta be one of the other quicks taking the new ball with Hilfy. Just my two cents...

  • valvolux on July 22, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    I don't think it's that big a deal that he's not performing. He had a bad game and was pretty expensive - but fact is, even when he's bowling ridiculously bad he still takes wickets - the likes of Stuart Broad don't even take wickets when they are on top form. England are a one man bowling unit, there is little doubt of that. If we had the same conditions to bowl in as England did, we would've done a lot better. Sure we don't have a Flintoff…but Broad, Onions and Anderson wouldn't make the Aussie lineup - Anderson is good when the conditions are right, but useless when no cloud is about. Bell will always be useless against Australia, losing Pietersen will hurt them dearly..thus Flintoff's batting needs to improve - that's one thing Johnson still has clicking so if Australia wins the toss, look out for an innings victory for the Aussies. Hughes will come good - he's been out once to a good ball....out to a cheating strauss and out to a poor shot down the legside. He'll come good.

  • TaeKwonDodo on July 22, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    Actually it is 3 bad games Jason. He stank at Worcester. That is where all the problems started. He had only one warm-up game, where he was obviously badly out of synch from the first ball, and it has been a downward spiral of panic ever since. It speaks very poorly of the Australian coaches that they can let such a situation develop. Wasn't he bowling in the nets before Worcester? Couldn't anyone spot that things weren't right? Or is this the deliberate result of some over-rated idiot telling him to change his action to try to bowl the magic "reverse swing" that Australia are now hopelessly obsessed with when they come to England? His action is now a complete mess. What he is trying to bowl is a complete mystery to me.

  • Geraldine on July 22, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    I agree that Mitchell Johnson should stay in the squad. But no matter how much work goes into his bowling technique, he will still have problems mentally coping with the pressure. I think Australia should replace either Hussey or North with Stuart Clarke, and tell Mitch that they consider him an all-rounder which will take some of the the pressure off his bowling.

  • mike9999 on July 22, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    It's the same problem for lots of fast lefties. They try to bowl too fast and the arm drops and who knows where the ball is going to go! It happened to me when I was a schoolkid. "Keep your arm up" "Keep your arm up". I kept being told that but speed was exhilharating. Eventually I "got it". When I kept my arm up I was in the wickets - lots of them, and we won matches. When I tried for the extra speed - few wickets and lost matches. That was all of fifty years ago so for me it's like deja vu all over again! It's not rocket science Mr. Johnson. Length and line before speed and the stumps will rocket out of the turf. You're fast enough without searching for that little bit of extra speed that sacrifices everything else. I'm also hoping for a Mitchell Johnson Ashes century...

  • barmyarmy44444 on July 22, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    i think that everyone overated johnson and now he's had one bad match they are panicking and if brett lee comes back for the next test it will lift a lot of the pressure on him if they both play.bell will at long last get his test comeback at the expence of the injured peitersen who was out of form anyway and i do not think it will be as much of a loss for england as people think.in my opinion bell should bat at 3 and bopara 4 but it will sadly be visa varsa and i think bopara is being found out against good fast bowling attacks.when england tour south africa later this year bopara will struggle at 3 against an attack that contains steyn,morkel,and ntini.the only other issue for england is if the pitch turns to go to go with onions or monty.

  • Isaacking on July 22, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    What all of us have forgotten is that MJ is the same bowler who tour India and found out that not every surface have bounce in it, Now he is finding out that not every ball will swing in to the batmen.So he should start accepting that he is no Akram and with time he will become a batting allrounder more of Irfan Pathan. May sound harsh but truth is he was never the bowler media was making him to be. wishing him long slow medium years to come.

  • ShankarKR on July 22, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    Jason Gillipsie ,Please come back from your retirement to save Australian Team....

    We Indians too love your bowling. I really feel that Aussies have become weaker against Indians since Aussies miss Glen Mcgrath and Jason Gillipsie..........

    Now Aussies are weaker in bowling section, Gillepsie please come back to Aussie team.

  • Katri on July 22, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    Sudzz put my thoughts aptly. The similarities with Irfan Pathan are eerily similar. Time for MJ to dump his batting kit into the Thames and break Strauss' hand.

  • Aahd on July 22, 2009, 11:45 GMT

    If anything, Australia needs guys in the side who have a point to prove. Johnson needs to prove a point with his bowling. He is an exciting all rounder, and I call him an all rounder because far less deserving players have held that title in the last decade. And as for those saying his 8 wickets have not been important, thats 8 wickets when Australia has now been able to take 20 English wickets in two Tests. Give the guy time and play on potential...but only if Johnson can sort out the technicalities. The 'mind' recovers much quicker, he just needs to find his rhythm.

  • kym_c on July 22, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    I don't completely agree with JG. MJ didn't just have a bad Test, it went way beyond bad ... he embarrassed himself to the point where he may need some sessions with the shrink to get over it and gave England 200 easy runs along the way that Australia couldn't peg back . Look, I have no doubt that MJ will correct his technique and have a significant hand in a lot of Test wins in future ... I'm just not sure that will transpire in the last 3 Tests of the Ashes series. Nonetheless I reckon keeping MJ in for the 3rd Test has some merit (batted 8 and got 63) so long as SC also gets included ... the English will then have to make their runs the hard way from consistent deliveries over the top of off-stump. Not sure who gets dropped to make that idea work ... maybe NH.

  • cricketchic on July 22, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Over the past two years he showed how important he was to the line up? C'mon man. Johnson only really had two good series. At the start of the indian tour people were already calling for his head, during the Caribbean tour, which was only a year ago, he was bowling the same tripe as well. And Jason, I think everyone can see that Johnson had TWO bad games for the series, not one. Forget about the eight wickets, we all know they were at an expensive rate. When guys like Lee took that number or more during matches where they bowled crap, we all thought they should have been dropped regardless of the number of wickets. The sad thing is out of those eight wickets, I don't even think he bowled eight good deliveries. Give johnson a rest and bring in Clark, Siddle has been okay thogh struggling at times as well, but he shouldn't have to suffer because of team loyalty toward Johnson. To me it seems that Johnson has simply reverted to days of old.

  • elsieb66 on July 22, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    Good on you Dizzy for saying this. People are too quick to knock and the English press has had a field day. He needs to ignore this. Yes, he had a shocker at Lord's but I wouldn't mind betting that the slope that assisted McGrath didn't help Mitch. He's proved himself against the best/second best team in the world - South Africa - so England should not be posing a problem. He needs to get over this mental hurdle, and everyone slagging him off is not going to help. Hughes will come good, although I don't know why the selectors' obsession with all rounders while bringing no spare openers. Don't even talk about Watson! He's an accident waiting to happen - only has to look at a cricket ball and he does his back/rib/ankle/pinkie finger. It's only 1-0. Mentally, we have to get it together.

  • Kheruvim on July 22, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    I'd like to know how much the slope at Lord's would have affected a bowler like Mitchell Johnson. On the few occasions it clicked at Lord's he looked good, but it did not happen often.

  • dahalcric on July 22, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    Big reputation of good bowler and some noises of Great allrounder from South African series has led to the big expection for Mitch.Otherwise I still believe he is very good bowler and he can be very devastating as he sent Kallis and Smith to the hospital.I still think that was the turning point for South african losing the series.And the way he bats like a batsman always is the assets to the team.Talking about his bowling ,in England the conditions are quite different than South africa and Australia.I would be very suprised if he didnot play in Edgbaston.He is talented for his skills and he knows his limitation.Edgbaston Test would certainly test his character whether he can comeback .Good players always comeback.

  • RajivT on July 22, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Dizzy I can understand why you wouldn't want the selectors to pull the gun on Johnson, but in my opinion, if he's not swinging the ball back in during the tour game against northants, he needs to be dropped. I don't think we can afford to carry one bowler in a 4 man attack especially being 1-0 down.

    I've watched Mitch very closely since the tour game at Worcester and he seems competely out of sorts ever since. During that game,I kept telling myself that he lacks match practise and will be fine for the series. Come Cardiff, he was disappointing and wasn't bowling well but because of the ability of the guy, he still managed to pick up 4 wickets. Then I told myself that he will def sort himself out for Lords so was extremly disappointed during that 1st hour on day 1. In my opinion we went a huge way in losing that test match during the 1st hour. If this were any other series,I would persist with him but this is the Ashes (!) and we can't afford any more mistakes.

  • The_Wog on July 22, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    The real problem is not his wrist position or his head falling away. It's that his mum teed off at his fiancee in the most public and unseemly possible way and has messed with his head. Man of the series favourite at this stage, Mrs J.

  • brufromsa on July 22, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    Well said Dizzy, we are a bit quick to dig the boots in over one poor performance from Johnson, even though his batting n the second dig was a positve performance. He is a good player who had a bad bowling game, show me someone who hasn't done that. He will fight back no problems.

  • Sudzz on July 22, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    I sincerely hope Mitchell J is not going the Irfan Pathan route, though comparisons in terms of sheer skill are odious but one can't help compare them because of them being southpaws.

    Even Irfan's descent to being a less than mediocre bowler started with the development of his batting, here in India the downfall was attributed to a lot of factors ranging from the then coach to physical strength to mental ability etc.

    The fact remains that Mitchell has a bunch excellent support staff that can bring him out of this slump in bowling form for sure, but as a batting all rounder I think Aussies have better options than him and therefore his place is under peril if he does not improve his bowling soon.

  • Theena on July 22, 2009, 6:57 GMT

    Good on you, Jason, for writing this. I've been stunned to see how much Johnson has dropped in confidence since the SA series. His bowling then I could only describe as scary. I hope he regains his form soon. He is too good to have completely lost it.

  • Warney708 on July 22, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson is statistically a better allrounder than Andrew Flintoff!!

  • _Australian_ on July 22, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    I have to agree. The biggest mistake Australia made was resting Johnson in part of the warm up matches. He is like Harmison, the more he bowls the better off he is. I do think Australia are needing to have 4 quicks though. It was o.k to have 3 quicks and a spinner in the past when you have 2 of the best ever in Warne and McGrath. There is far too much pressure for a bowler at the moment if they put in a bad spell. Ricky has no one to turn to to take the pressure off and therefore must persist with whoever is not bowling well. I think Australia need to make some tough decisions. Hauritz for Lee for starters as we were quite successful with 4 quicks v South Africa and the part time spin on offer. Or possibly Hughes for Watson and retain Hauritz. But only if Watson can bowl.

  • AdityaMookerjee on July 22, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    What does one do, when a bowler of the caliber of Mitchell Johnson is not performing? I believe him to be the next great all rounder, if he sets his mind to it. He did not perform with the bat either, if I am right. I have always admired the Australian cricket team for their skill, and flair. I am sure that Johnson will bounce back.

  • karthikrg on July 22, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Why do you have out of form Hughes opening? make Hussey or North open the batting and add another bowler like Lee or Stuart Clark

  • since7 on July 22, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    Its good that someone talks sense amidst cacophony.bowling for the firs time in the lords can be tough and johnson's problems only got aggaravated.One thing though.Jason said about him not averaging 4 wickets a game.That has been something I never understood..If there is an unlucky bowler to have played cricket,it should be jason.right from injuries,collissions to balls flying through the vacant slip cordon nothing seemed to go for this wonderful bowler..So,Mr.jason cut off this self-depreciating thing

  • bachao on July 22, 2009, 4:15 GMT

    Excellent piece ... gives quite a bit of insight in to the bowler's mind!! Just hope Mitch gets back to his normal self and bowl another of those magical spells like the one in SA.

    Thanks Dizzy!!!

  • gzawilliam on July 22, 2009, 3:46 GMT

    Even though i think he should be dropped for the next few tests i don't think he's getting written off.

    The problem i have with Mitchell trying to get these technical glitches fixed is he has been trying to do this for years now. Wasn't it just recently in India where wasim akram had a chat with him about seam position and other issues.. He must of seen Zaheer Khan's perfect wrist position and countless swing as something he needs to succeed. Well he's right..

    The best thing for mitch is to be dropped and to come back stronger with the pressure off. Its not a bad thing. Most of the best players have had to be dropped to become a better player.

    Australia really needs to get a World Class bowler who can take top order wickets consistently. Mitch is nowhere near that and should never use the new ball. All he will do is scuff the ball up for the 1st change bowler. Which dizzy you would hate if he were still playing.Time to bring Clark back in to add that extra skill we r lacking

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  • gzawilliam on July 22, 2009, 3:46 GMT

    Even though i think he should be dropped for the next few tests i don't think he's getting written off.

    The problem i have with Mitchell trying to get these technical glitches fixed is he has been trying to do this for years now. Wasn't it just recently in India where wasim akram had a chat with him about seam position and other issues.. He must of seen Zaheer Khan's perfect wrist position and countless swing as something he needs to succeed. Well he's right..

    The best thing for mitch is to be dropped and to come back stronger with the pressure off. Its not a bad thing. Most of the best players have had to be dropped to become a better player.

    Australia really needs to get a World Class bowler who can take top order wickets consistently. Mitch is nowhere near that and should never use the new ball. All he will do is scuff the ball up for the 1st change bowler. Which dizzy you would hate if he were still playing.Time to bring Clark back in to add that extra skill we r lacking

  • bachao on July 22, 2009, 4:15 GMT

    Excellent piece ... gives quite a bit of insight in to the bowler's mind!! Just hope Mitch gets back to his normal self and bowl another of those magical spells like the one in SA.

    Thanks Dizzy!!!

  • since7 on July 22, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    Its good that someone talks sense amidst cacophony.bowling for the firs time in the lords can be tough and johnson's problems only got aggaravated.One thing though.Jason said about him not averaging 4 wickets a game.That has been something I never understood..If there is an unlucky bowler to have played cricket,it should be jason.right from injuries,collissions to balls flying through the vacant slip cordon nothing seemed to go for this wonderful bowler..So,Mr.jason cut off this self-depreciating thing

  • karthikrg on July 22, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Why do you have out of form Hughes opening? make Hussey or North open the batting and add another bowler like Lee or Stuart Clark

  • AdityaMookerjee on July 22, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    What does one do, when a bowler of the caliber of Mitchell Johnson is not performing? I believe him to be the next great all rounder, if he sets his mind to it. He did not perform with the bat either, if I am right. I have always admired the Australian cricket team for their skill, and flair. I am sure that Johnson will bounce back.

  • _Australian_ on July 22, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    I have to agree. The biggest mistake Australia made was resting Johnson in part of the warm up matches. He is like Harmison, the more he bowls the better off he is. I do think Australia are needing to have 4 quicks though. It was o.k to have 3 quicks and a spinner in the past when you have 2 of the best ever in Warne and McGrath. There is far too much pressure for a bowler at the moment if they put in a bad spell. Ricky has no one to turn to to take the pressure off and therefore must persist with whoever is not bowling well. I think Australia need to make some tough decisions. Hauritz for Lee for starters as we were quite successful with 4 quicks v South Africa and the part time spin on offer. Or possibly Hughes for Watson and retain Hauritz. But only if Watson can bowl.

  • Warney708 on July 22, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson is statistically a better allrounder than Andrew Flintoff!!

  • Theena on July 22, 2009, 6:57 GMT

    Good on you, Jason, for writing this. I've been stunned to see how much Johnson has dropped in confidence since the SA series. His bowling then I could only describe as scary. I hope he regains his form soon. He is too good to have completely lost it.

  • Sudzz on July 22, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    I sincerely hope Mitchell J is not going the Irfan Pathan route, though comparisons in terms of sheer skill are odious but one can't help compare them because of them being southpaws.

    Even Irfan's descent to being a less than mediocre bowler started with the development of his batting, here in India the downfall was attributed to a lot of factors ranging from the then coach to physical strength to mental ability etc.

    The fact remains that Mitchell has a bunch excellent support staff that can bring him out of this slump in bowling form for sure, but as a batting all rounder I think Aussies have better options than him and therefore his place is under peril if he does not improve his bowling soon.

  • brufromsa on July 22, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    Well said Dizzy, we are a bit quick to dig the boots in over one poor performance from Johnson, even though his batting n the second dig was a positve performance. He is a good player who had a bad bowling game, show me someone who hasn't done that. He will fight back no problems.