Australia in New Zealand 2009-10

Experienced Johnson uses his head

Cricinfo staff

March 13, 2010

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Brad Haddin steps in to separate Mitchell Johnson and Scott Styris after they appeared to clash head and helmet, New Zealand v Australia, 1st ODI, Napier, March 3, 2010
Mitchell Johnson: "I know that physical contact in a sport like cricket isn't on. I did cross the line just slightly, I can put my hand up and say that" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Mitchell Johnson
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of New Zealand

Mitchell Johnson is putting the lessons learned from his difficult tour of England last year to use in New Zealand. Johnson's bowling potency disappeared during the Ashes and he was targeted by the crowds, an experience which has helped significantly after his bump of heads with Scott Styris.

Johnson has been the leading wicket-taker in the current one-day series, showing he can cope with the extra attention caused by the crowds. After the first game in Napier Johnson was fined 60% of his match fee for the clash with Styris and he has since kissed his badge before bowling and kept smiling.

''There's obviously backlash but it doesn't bother me at all,'' Johnson said in the Sydney Morning Herald. ''I copped a fair bit over in England last year and I learnt a lot from that. To be copping it again doesn't really get to me at all.

"The important thing is how you deal with it mentally and I think I'm dealing with it pretty well. As long as their supporters understand when there's good cricket being played and they support that, it's all good. The banter out there is fine."

One thing that does concern Johnson is the labelling of his run-in with Styris as a "head-butt". ''It was just me and him coming together and there was accidental contact,'' he said. ''The only thing I'm quite annoyed about is that it has been classed as a head-butt. I'm not that silly. I'm not going to head-butt someone who has a helmet on."

However, he was happy that Brad Haddin ran in and pulled him away from the exchange. ''He pushed me out of the road," he said. "But look, I know that physical contact in a sport like cricket isn't on. I did cross the line just slightly, I can put my hand up and say that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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