Australia news September 27, 2011

Cooley wants Johnson 'up and firing'

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Australia's acting head coach, Troy Cooley, hopes the conditions in South Africa will help Mitchell Johnson regain his best form after a disappointing year. Cooley will be in charge for Australia's upcoming trip to South Africa after being named as the temporary replacement for Tim Nielsen, who stepped down after the Test series win in Sri Lanka.

During that trip, Johnson continued to struggle, collecting just two wickets in each of the three Test matches, on his first Test tour working with the new bowling coach Craig McDermott. It capped off a below-par 12 months for Johnson, who since the start of the short tour of India in October last year has taken 29 Test wickets at 38.89.

Cooley watched the Sri Lankan series from Australia and said that Johnson looked consistent but he needed to keep working on his wrist position. The upcoming series will be crucial for Johnson, who faces competition from Ryan Harris, Trent Copeland and Peter Siddle for a place in the side, not only in South Africa but for the home Tests against New Zealand and India.

In Johnson's favour is his strong record in South Africa, where in 2009 he picked up 16 wickets at 25, and he was especially venomous in the Johannesburg Test. Australia's two Tests in November will be played at Newlands in Cape Town and the Wanderers in Johannesburg, where Johnson was Man of the Match last time he played there.

"I think the conditions definitely suit the quick bowlers over there and the places we're going to play will definitely give them an advantage," Cooley said. "It will be up to all of us now to pull together and make sure that not only Mitch but the rest of the team are up and firing and building on what we've started in Sri Lanka.

"Mitch has been working closely with Craig McDermott now for a little while. We have a relationship with Mitch over the years and we've seen some ups and downs along the way but fully aware Mitchell is still responsible to go out there and perform.

"From what I saw on TV he looked like he was bowling consistently. He probably needs to make sure things are working out of his wrist as best as they can. I'm sure Craig McDermott has been working on that and I'll pick up with Craig on that as soon as I hit the deck on Monday."

Cooley has spent most of the past five years working closely with Australia's attack as the team's bowling coach, but he stepped away earlier this year to become head coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. His appointment as Australia's interim coach came after he told Cricket Australia he wouldn't be applying for the full-time role.

Instead, he is happy working with the developing players at the Centre of Excellence and taking on roles such as coaching Australia A, which he did on the tour of Zimbabwe in July. On that trip, the offspinner Nathan Lyon did enough to impress the selectors and earn himself a Test debut in Sri Lanka, and Cooley said Lyon was good enough to succeed in South Africa as well.

"Nathan is relatively new in the team but he acquitted himself very well in Zimbabwe and obviously started his career with the Australian team quite nicely," Cooley said. "It's a tough area to bowl finger spin over there [in South Africa], it's a little bit like the Australian conditions, but he's got some great control and has grown with every game so I see him acquitting himself quite nicely if selected."

Cooley will rejoin the Australians at a time of great change, but also of great promise, after their 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka. Tackling South Africa in their own conditions will be a different challenge, but despite being ranked second on the ICC Test table, South Africa have not won a Test series at home since beating Bangladesh in 2008.

"South Africa are always a formidable line-up," Cooley said. "They've got a great bowling line-up and their batsmen, even though they're a little bit older, they're still producing the runs. They sit well above us on the Test table and we'll be working very hard to chase them down."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 30, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    @5wombats...its a very reasonable assumption,that off field factors mitigated the non-selection of Hauritz.Im sure everyone remembers the Hauritz garage sale and his sentiment clearly publicly reflected by Katich.Certainly,the New South Welshmen have banded together throughout this and I dont blame them.There was Clarke,who with Hughes,went to the pre-match charity breakfast.Sutherland made bold statements about them,but no significant action was taken,his bluff being called.That incident was very instructive on a number of levels and when you consider,that on Nielsens passing,both Hughes and Clarke played with the freedom of old,it puts it in its true light.Watson has publicly criticised the selectors in his new book.O'Keefe and Copeland couldnt get a fair go,despite being streets ahead of the next best.One could almost be convinced,that the Tasmanian clique in selection,set out with the purpose of increasing Tasmanian representation in the Test side,rather than picking the best XI.

  • POSTED BY David47 on | September 29, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    So Cooley wants him up and firing? Well - I want him up and fired.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | September 29, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    So @hyclass - looks like Hauritz has red blood in his veins! Maybe that's why he fell foul of Ponting. The loss of Hauritz has been disastrous for Aus. After the way he's been treated - no wonder he wanted to break someones face.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 29, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    @Sriram Gr...Asif,Kumar and McGrath,later in his career,all made a huge success from bowling like Copeland.His record is outstanding and whether people subscribe to his type of bowling or not,unlike so many players selected these day,he has EARNED his place in the Test team.Pattinson hasnt and until his record supports his selection,he should remain a Shield player.Hilfenhaus,who had a long and relatively unproductive run in the Australian side,needs to demonstrate wicket taking ability,to be considered again.Hauritz,was dropped after the tour of India,dislocated his shoulder and has only started playing again recently.He was also recently at fault in a fight at a night club,in which he was struck in the face.This may influence his immediate future,as is usually the case in such incidents.The real hard luck stories are David Hussey,McDonald and O'Keefe,who keeps getting selected in T20I and List A,his weakest formats.Lyon and Beer should never have been selected ahead of him for Test

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 23:26 GMT

    Adrian: "he is a bit up and down". He's down a lot more than he is up, and when he's down, he's downright terrible. We will give him another go in SA and he'll bowl the same nonsense and might take a couple of wickets. But that will be it. He can be terribly erratic, and there is no consistency. In my opinion, he should have been dropped after Lord's in 2009.

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Man this is ridiculous dropping clark and taking copeland .He's the worst bowler ive seen in the aussie finding.Get back Hilfy and work pattinson instead of Jhonson and copeland .I was stunned about the story of a bowler named Hauritz.What happened to him?can anyone tell that?

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @gzawilliam---thats one of the most funny statements i have ever read...MJ doesnt swing the ball..the ball swings for him once in a blue moon..!!!!lol...i had to read the sentence twice to get what you meant..but i couldnt stop laughing for quite some time after that.....btw nice to note that you actually support MJ....let us see if he beomes the next Clarke as i had earilier commented..(villain after Ashes,hero after SL)....

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 28, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Averages exist for a reason.They are a measure of quality,endurance and adaptability in a variety of conditions against a variety of opponents.A mediocre average suggests a failing in of these areas.For a professional selector,records should be the only measure of inclusion.Johnsons current Test record is almost identical to his 1st class record,meaning that this IS the authentic Johnson.As a batsman in Tests,since SA 2009,he has made 492 runs in 37 innings at an average of 13.29,with 3 x 50s,leaving his Test and 1st class batting averages around 20 apiece.His average only rises into the realms of a batsman against SA,against whom he has 401 runs from 6 Tests at 57.28. In the same period,he has claimed 93 Test wickets at an average of 32.88,5 times claiming 5 wickets in an innings and once,10 wickets in a match.Only against SA,WI and NZ,does his average fall below this.This leaves his Test and 1st class bowling averages around 30 apiece.History suggests that SA had better watch out.

  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | September 28, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I hear all these comments about consistency and how johnson doesn't perform and then the same comment about how can he be picjked for south africa?

    Well johnson is a horses for courses style player. he plays well in places that suit him.. Like SOUTH AFRICA..

    3 test matches in south 16wickets at 25 , 255runs at 85.. That seems to say he plays his best in south africa.. If i remember rightly he destroyed graeme smith last time over there. Breaking his finger twice in the tour. Also hitting Kallis and leaving him injured. While also getting favourable swing from the conditions.. And we all know he's 100% different when the ball swings.. And please dont say he can't swing the ball. of course HE can't.. But now and then the stars align themselves and the ball just swings for him.. funnily enough it happened regulary in south africa.. If its tour of england then drop him. But south africa you'd be insane to drop him from that tour. The same if england dropped swan for a tour of india

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | September 28, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    I was under the impression that Cooley had ample time (Few years) before this to get Johnson up and running...!

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 30, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    @5wombats...its a very reasonable assumption,that off field factors mitigated the non-selection of Hauritz.Im sure everyone remembers the Hauritz garage sale and his sentiment clearly publicly reflected by Katich.Certainly,the New South Welshmen have banded together throughout this and I dont blame them.There was Clarke,who with Hughes,went to the pre-match charity breakfast.Sutherland made bold statements about them,but no significant action was taken,his bluff being called.That incident was very instructive on a number of levels and when you consider,that on Nielsens passing,both Hughes and Clarke played with the freedom of old,it puts it in its true light.Watson has publicly criticised the selectors in his new book.O'Keefe and Copeland couldnt get a fair go,despite being streets ahead of the next best.One could almost be convinced,that the Tasmanian clique in selection,set out with the purpose of increasing Tasmanian representation in the Test side,rather than picking the best XI.

  • POSTED BY David47 on | September 29, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    So Cooley wants him up and firing? Well - I want him up and fired.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | September 29, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    So @hyclass - looks like Hauritz has red blood in his veins! Maybe that's why he fell foul of Ponting. The loss of Hauritz has been disastrous for Aus. After the way he's been treated - no wonder he wanted to break someones face.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 29, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    @Sriram Gr...Asif,Kumar and McGrath,later in his career,all made a huge success from bowling like Copeland.His record is outstanding and whether people subscribe to his type of bowling or not,unlike so many players selected these day,he has EARNED his place in the Test team.Pattinson hasnt and until his record supports his selection,he should remain a Shield player.Hilfenhaus,who had a long and relatively unproductive run in the Australian side,needs to demonstrate wicket taking ability,to be considered again.Hauritz,was dropped after the tour of India,dislocated his shoulder and has only started playing again recently.He was also recently at fault in a fight at a night club,in which he was struck in the face.This may influence his immediate future,as is usually the case in such incidents.The real hard luck stories are David Hussey,McDonald and O'Keefe,who keeps getting selected in T20I and List A,his weakest formats.Lyon and Beer should never have been selected ahead of him for Test

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 23:26 GMT

    Adrian: "he is a bit up and down". He's down a lot more than he is up, and when he's down, he's downright terrible. We will give him another go in SA and he'll bowl the same nonsense and might take a couple of wickets. But that will be it. He can be terribly erratic, and there is no consistency. In my opinion, he should have been dropped after Lord's in 2009.

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Man this is ridiculous dropping clark and taking copeland .He's the worst bowler ive seen in the aussie finding.Get back Hilfy and work pattinson instead of Jhonson and copeland .I was stunned about the story of a bowler named Hauritz.What happened to him?can anyone tell that?

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @gzawilliam---thats one of the most funny statements i have ever read...MJ doesnt swing the ball..the ball swings for him once in a blue moon..!!!!lol...i had to read the sentence twice to get what you meant..but i couldnt stop laughing for quite some time after that.....btw nice to note that you actually support MJ....let us see if he beomes the next Clarke as i had earilier commented..(villain after Ashes,hero after SL)....

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 28, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Averages exist for a reason.They are a measure of quality,endurance and adaptability in a variety of conditions against a variety of opponents.A mediocre average suggests a failing in of these areas.For a professional selector,records should be the only measure of inclusion.Johnsons current Test record is almost identical to his 1st class record,meaning that this IS the authentic Johnson.As a batsman in Tests,since SA 2009,he has made 492 runs in 37 innings at an average of 13.29,with 3 x 50s,leaving his Test and 1st class batting averages around 20 apiece.His average only rises into the realms of a batsman against SA,against whom he has 401 runs from 6 Tests at 57.28. In the same period,he has claimed 93 Test wickets at an average of 32.88,5 times claiming 5 wickets in an innings and once,10 wickets in a match.Only against SA,WI and NZ,does his average fall below this.This leaves his Test and 1st class bowling averages around 30 apiece.History suggests that SA had better watch out.

  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | September 28, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I hear all these comments about consistency and how johnson doesn't perform and then the same comment about how can he be picjked for south africa?

    Well johnson is a horses for courses style player. he plays well in places that suit him.. Like SOUTH AFRICA..

    3 test matches in south 16wickets at 25 , 255runs at 85.. That seems to say he plays his best in south africa.. If i remember rightly he destroyed graeme smith last time over there. Breaking his finger twice in the tour. Also hitting Kallis and leaving him injured. While also getting favourable swing from the conditions.. And we all know he's 100% different when the ball swings.. And please dont say he can't swing the ball. of course HE can't.. But now and then the stars align themselves and the ball just swings for him.. funnily enough it happened regulary in south africa.. If its tour of england then drop him. But south africa you'd be insane to drop him from that tour. The same if england dropped swan for a tour of india

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | September 28, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    I was under the impression that Cooley had ample time (Few years) before this to get Johnson up and running...!

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | September 28, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    What will they will build on from SL.The series ended with 4 international matches each and the only Test result,courtesy of the ICC sanctioned Galle pitch.Other than those who batted in Galle,the batsmen faced the worlds weakest attack on the flattest pitches, a far cry from SA 1100+ wicket attack.Harris,who is injured,was the only bowler of stature for Australia.Copeland is a work in progress,but has a fabulous supporting record to suggest he is worth perservering with.Johnson remained an enigma,but has enough brilliance in his career,to encourage persistence.Outside the 1st innings Galle pitch,Lyon has 17/899 in his 1st class career at 52.88 from 7.5 games and 3/261 in 2.5 Tests at 87.Its hard to fathom how any professional could make a successful case for those numbers,over others like O'Keefe.Clarkes captaincy was innovative and in the last innings of the 3rd Test,along with Hughes,his batting seemed to be released and bouyed by the impending retirement of the reviled Nielsen.

  • POSTED BY on | September 28, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Johnson is a match winner and needs to be persisted with. Like Shane Watson he is a bit up and down and like Watson needs to be managed correctly. I have said for a while now that Johnson needs to be treated like an all-rounder in order to do his best. Bat him up the order at 6 or 7 at worst, even in tests, and then he will be at his most devastating. Treating Watson like a true all-rounder did wonders for him and it would do the same for Johnson.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | September 28, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    New fielding coach, new bowling coach, new captain, new selectors, new bowling personnel & post review I though things were heading in the right direction. Apparently not. For mine, Cooley was an integral member of the previous regime which clearly did NOT advance Australias cause. IMO this is a step in the wrong direction & undermines all the new members of the group.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | September 27, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    He is out of chances and shouldn't be selected until he proves himself at first class level. This is exactly the problem with the Australian team selections. They hope that someone will regain form instead of selecting players in form. Johnson has shown in the past that he will have a great game and then bowl rubbish for the next 10 games. I predict that he will go to South Africa, have one good game and then get another 10 chances before they look at dropping him. Enough is enough, drop him now!

  • POSTED BY David47 on | September 27, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    The really depressing thing is that he's obviously been pencilled in to go to SA. And as for the toss of a coin re whether he'll perform well or not - don't bother - he won't. But of course, we all should stop picking on him because he's a "sensitive sort of guy" don't you know (to quote a previous CA statement). Give me a break - if he was in an "ordinary" job he would have been sacked at least two years ago. And as for other statements that some of the younger guys need another couple of years on the Shield before being seriously considered, who was it once said "if you're good enough, you're old enough"?

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | September 27, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    Johnson is the most inconsistant bowler Australia ever had, and yet Australia regard him as their strike bowler, he should have been dropped 1 year ago

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    r aussies out of steam?? why they came calling for this loser johnson again and again????? get over him

  • POSTED BY mungowildebeest on | September 27, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    I'm happy to hear that Australia's cricket team have been assigned an 'Acting Coach'. What with all the close up shots on TV and the pressures on performance from such relentless media attention, not to mention the poor performances by the Australian team on the field in general over the past couple of years, this may be just what they need to at least present their characters more effectively. Singling out Mitch Johnson - surely Australia's best candidate for a handsome & villainous matinee idol - is a fair beginning to this new phase of team development and I look forward to evidence of some more emotional intensity, alongside the normal histrionics and yahoo posturing that accompanies appeals for LBW. Peter Siddle on the other hand could use some more restraint with his gesturing at such moments, but I would also suggest that Dougie Bollinger - now he (like Jacques Kallis) has lost the (h)edge given by his 'natural' ruggedness atop his head - needs more focus in this department.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 27, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    I'm looking forward to this series. It will be a good indication of where the two sides are and what they'll need to do to have a shot at being #1. If SA are serious contenders, they need to put Australia away. If they don't, then they're going to struggle when they tour England next year. Australia need to see whether they are still reliant on their veteran players (Hussey, Ponting, Haddin, Clarke) or whether some of the new guys are looking the part. Sri Lanka wasn't much of a test because the SL bowling is so weak. If the new guys don't do well, Aus has some problems, since Ponting, Haddin and Hussey aren't likely to be around in 2013. Johnson hasn't done much for the last year and must be running out of chances. If he can't take wickets in SA, it's time for a change. The only thing I'm sorry about is that there will only be 2 tests. That's a disgrace for two such proud cricketing nations.

  • POSTED BY Matt. on | September 27, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    I have to join in with the @jonesy2 bashing...give us a break man! I'm worried that mitch will perform in SA, because the selectors will assume all his troubles are over (once again). Then we'll have to put up with him for at least another year. If he was going to find consistency, he would have found it already

  • POSTED BY HorseH on | September 27, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Cooley says conditions in the two Tests should favour the quicks?? Surely he can remember the Test in CT in 2009 where SA scored 650 and gumby Harris (Paul) took 9 wickets for SA! Johnson went for 150 at 4 per over...but did score 123 in Aus's 2nd innings. Maybe play him there as a batsman.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | September 27, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    "Mitch has been working closely with Craig McDermott now for a little while. We have a relationship with Mitch over the years ". And in that time we've seen him go from matchwinner to inconsistent to sideshow. I agree with a few of the other posters - if he fails in South Africa he should be finally out of the side.

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    SA batsmen older? there' only two over 30...

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | September 27, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    I'm not depressed because Johnson might or might not play well in SA, you may as well flip a coin as try and predict that one. I'm depressed that Troy Cooley is back in charge of the Aussies. I thought he'd been sent to the academy to destroy the up-and-comers, not to get in the way of the current bowlers... again.

  • POSTED BY durhamd on | September 27, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    @Naresh28 "The England team is not entirely English - it is made up of Ex-South African players." Get over it. Also, while I agree Australia have a good pace attack, they didn't do a particularly good job of 'breaking England's bubble' last winter did they?

  • POSTED BY Kaze on | September 27, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Lol I remember Phillip Hughes had Steyn and Morkel jumping and dancing last time when he carted em around the park.

  • POSTED BY lillie_express on | September 27, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Geez, 30 years old and still having major issues with that left wrist action, still struggling, still second guessing...not exactly living the dream is he. It's strange that someone so athletic can be so unnatural.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | September 27, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Johnson should do well in SA. But so would Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel etc. who would make the Australian batsmen jump and dance.

  • POSTED BY Ben1989 on | September 27, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @Leanne, it was a pretty dominant series we should have won the second test if it wasn't for weather & played well to draw 3rd, so from my eyes should've been 2-0 & therefore dominant win, but yes Johnson was pretty consistent in the 1st & 2nd test but never looked dangerous but his 3rd test was back to the old ashes Johnson!

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | September 27, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Come on Australia it would be nice if you could break that English bubble. England had it easy against the "miltary medium" Indian bowling and at least you have good pace bowlers. The Ashes are still far away but you face South Africa. Troy Cooley porbably played his part in the past in getting the English bowling up to spec. The England team is not entirely English - it is made up of Ex-South African players.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | September 27, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    @Dinker Rkn-Not from me mate. I think he's a dud, and one match winning performance a year won't change that. The rest of the time he's working for the opposition.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | September 27, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    @jonesy-Yep, I agree with the others. You embarrass us. Please stop.

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    After the Ashes series most maligned player was Clarke just ahead of Jhonson..now he has become one of the darlings..will SA be MJ's favourite hunting ground again..will we see different sentiments towards Mitchell after 2 months...

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | September 27, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    If Mitch is going to rediscover his form anywhere, it will be South Africa. If he performs badly however, I believe that will be the last straw. I mean, Mark Taylor would have been jealous of this run of bad form.

  • POSTED BY chad_reid on | September 27, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @ jonesy2 agree with LesGrossman u make me laugh

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    I don't remember a dominant series win in Sri Lanka, nor Johnson being a part of it. Johnson should have been binned after the 2009 Lord's test.

  • POSTED BY sumscorer on | September 27, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    jonesy2.... Lol.. Rofl

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | September 27, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    I hate that we have coaches with favourite players. Of course Cooley will pick Johnson, he's been working closely with Johnson for years. To drop Johnson would be to admit he should have been sacked as bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    @ LesGrossman - You are right, This guy makes me laugh harder too, hence I thought I would share Mitchel Johnson's figures in that dominant series win jonesy2 mentioned -------------- Mat Overs Runs Wickets Best bowling Average 3 101.4 313 6 2/48 52.16

  • POSTED BY Alexcoe on | September 27, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Colley wants 'Johnson up and firing'. Sounds like a Karl Hungus quote.

  • POSTED BY LesGrossman on | September 27, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    @ jonesy2... u make me laugh

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | September 27, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    this makes me laugh, because johnson did not struggle at all in sri lanka. he was part of a dominant series win

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  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | September 27, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    this makes me laugh, because johnson did not struggle at all in sri lanka. he was part of a dominant series win

  • POSTED BY LesGrossman on | September 27, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    @ jonesy2... u make me laugh

  • POSTED BY Alexcoe on | September 27, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Colley wants 'Johnson up and firing'. Sounds like a Karl Hungus quote.

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    @ LesGrossman - You are right, This guy makes me laugh harder too, hence I thought I would share Mitchel Johnson's figures in that dominant series win jonesy2 mentioned -------------- Mat Overs Runs Wickets Best bowling Average 3 101.4 313 6 2/48 52.16

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | September 27, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    I hate that we have coaches with favourite players. Of course Cooley will pick Johnson, he's been working closely with Johnson for years. To drop Johnson would be to admit he should have been sacked as bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY sumscorer on | September 27, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    jonesy2.... Lol.. Rofl

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    I don't remember a dominant series win in Sri Lanka, nor Johnson being a part of it. Johnson should have been binned after the 2009 Lord's test.

  • POSTED BY chad_reid on | September 27, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @ jonesy2 agree with LesGrossman u make me laugh

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | September 27, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    If Mitch is going to rediscover his form anywhere, it will be South Africa. If he performs badly however, I believe that will be the last straw. I mean, Mark Taylor would have been jealous of this run of bad form.

  • POSTED BY on | September 27, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    After the Ashes series most maligned player was Clarke just ahead of Jhonson..now he has become one of the darlings..will SA be MJ's favourite hunting ground again..will we see different sentiments towards Mitchell after 2 months...