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September 10, 2013
Voges and Johnson were both part of the side that thrashed England in Sunday's ODI at Old Trafford, leading Voges to suggest that performances over the remaining games could have relevance to the Ashes series starting in November.
Not only does Voges believe that players such as Johnson can prove their worth for selection for the series - he bowled in excess of 90mph in dismissing two of England's top three in successive deliveries on Sunday - but he believes that Australia can gain some confidence by beating England in the ODIs.
Johnson's chances of a Test recall would appear to have taken a boost with the news that Mitchell Starc, the left-arm pace bowler who appeared to have moved ahead of Johnson in the pecking order, has sustained a stress fracture in the back and is an injury doubt for the Ashes. And while English crowds have not missed an opportunity to heckle Johnson - something of a pantomime villain among England supporters - in Manchester, at least, he had the last laugh.
Certainly the brute of a bouncer he produced to dismiss Jonathan Trott first ball suggested he could be quite a force on the quicker-paced Australian wickets.
"Facing him in the nets and watching him over these last few games, his pace is right up," Voges said. "He is bowling fast, he is swinging the ball and he is making life for England's top order tough work.
"I know there's been a lot of talk about Mitch possibly playing in the Ashes series. He's doing everything right at the moment. He's been outstanding."
"When you're bowling 90mph-plus and swinging the ball, I think that's a challenge for any batsman, no matter who you are. If he can do that consistently throughout this series, then I hope that will go a long way towards us winning it.
"The crowd don't miss him, do they? Every opportunity they get, even when we were up in Scotland, they didn't miss him up there either. But I actually think he relishes it."
Voges also felt that, as Australia battle to regain their confidence ahead of the next instalment in the Ashes, the ODI team had could play a key role by defeating an under-strength England and perhaps strike the first blow to their morale.
"There's no doubt that, in this one-day squad, we've got a real responsibility to try to win as many games as we can in this series," Voges said. "Any wins we can take back to Australia, for our home summer, will be really important.
"It's obviously been a tough few months. But we're very pleased after the way we played in Manchester the other day. We'll take a lot out of that, and it gives us the opportunity to take that into tomorrow and really apply some pressure on England in this series."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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