England v Australia, 3rd NatWest ODI, Edgbaston September 10, 2013

Voges backs Johnson for Ashes


Adam Voges has said that Mitchell Johnson is "doing everything right" in his bid to win a recall to Australia's Test side.

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 ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rod on September 13, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    I'd agree that Johnson should play in the forthcoming ashes series. If only he were as mentally strong as physically, I'm sure he would have been one of the all-time great Aussie quicks. Unfortunately his natural action is somewhat erratic which means that, although overall his stats are really impressive, he's never been able to play consistently well. Received wisdom is that bowlers like Johnson, who have natural pace and can bowl a really good delivery (mixed up with less testing deliveries and outright dross) are much more dangerous on good wickets than bowlers like Bird who are more accurate and consistent but have less pace or variety. If the pitch has any real pace, Johnson can be a real handful. If I were Clarke, I'd learn sign language and give him earplugs to stop him getting unsettled by the crowd and his opponents. He should be told to enjoy life, enjoy his cricket and rip into the opposition. He's also a useful lower order batsman with far too much potential not to play.

  • James on September 13, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    If nothing else, Johnson makes for great viewing during the ODIs. He's really firing them through, and the Pom upper order look like wombats in the headlights. That's what really annoys Millhouse79 and co. The English media would have us believe that talent is far greater in the English ranks, so seeing our second stringers like Johnson putting the fear of God into KP, Root and co is causing them a cognitive blowout.

  • Graham on September 13, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    hhillbumper ; That's ok one good over and one good over and you can ask Kallis, Graeme Smith or Sangakkara what could happen.

  • stuart on September 12, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    please pick him for the ashes.One bad over,the barmy army jump on him and England will feast on him.Of course though as an Aus fast bowler he is already one of the worlds greatest.5-0 to Aus for the Ashes then

  • david on September 12, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    if he starts off ok then he may bowl throughout the ashes.but if he has a bad session and that's whats happened in the past and the barmy army start getting at him he will fold its happened time after time. how many of the present aussie side and ex players have dived in to defend him. very frail if anything goes against him.

  • Hamish on September 12, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    Ridiculous comment @landl47... Johnson is one of the most durable quicks in word cricket right now as he's been for the majority of his career. His pace was as good in the Eng 10/11 series as it is now... It's purely psychological and I'm not sure how that's not obvious to everyone. Batsmen put pressure on him, he's wayward because of the lower arm and consequently he's simply, awful. When he's confident, his arm is higher, he has the same pace but higher control and more swing. And as seen, in that series, how can he become so good so quickly and so bad so quickly if it's a physical thing? Middle of the series, WACA, man of the match and wins us our only game. The rest he's terrible - oh no but it's physical. Codswallop.

    @Milhouse79, I'd thought you'd improved your bias this Ashes series... Evidently not! His stats are very similar to both Broad's and Anderson's but he hasn't played against Bangladesh..

    For what it's worth, i have no clue if i want MJ back. Shield form will be key.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    England fan here: and on current form I'd say that Johnson is a must-pick for the winter, especially with Starc out (and frankly I'd prefer him to Starc even then). Plus, his presence doesn't half cheer things up. All together: "He bowls to the left..."

  • Scott on September 12, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    @HowdyRowdy, that's why it's called a 'balanced attack'. So we select two bowlers who keep it tight and build pressure (Siddle/Harris), along with 1 from bowlers like Johnson, Starc, Pattinson, Cummins as our tearaway types who can be a little expensive, but are always a genuine threat to any batsman. If we turned out with Siddle/Harris/Bird as our pace attack, sure, it would be very decent as all three are very good bowlers, yet somehow I get the feeling that things would become very similar for good batsmen. The defensive way in which England play test cricket, we need a tearaway type who can land a few unplayable deliveries and with them generally scoring at 2rpo, I don't think one bowler going at even 5rpo will make too much difference - so long as they're taking a few wickets, that is!

  • Scott on September 12, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    @Milhouse79, The exact same thing could be said of Broad wo generally goes missing for a whole series, then bowls one good spell and retains his spot after most Eng fans are calling for his head. Of the 3 bowlers you mention, in ODIs, I'd take Johnson first and I'd take Johnson over Broad in tests. Johnson has been in amazing form recently and if it weren't for his torrid time with fans in Eng, he'd have been selected to play in the last Ashes series and was a surprise omission from the squad. @landl47, so it's fine to dismiss Anderson's early career woes, yet for our comparisons, we're supposed to include Johnson's to prove your point? Look at Anderson v Siddle - statistically Siddle is far superior - is he a better bowler? Stats only go so far in proving ones worth - Johnson is dangerous - ask KP who got beaten for pure pace & Trott didn't have a clue what was going on - nor did the umpire for that matter!

  • saint on September 12, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Johnson should play. Then, the Australian media should gang up exploiting the list of injuries he has caused to send a doubt and fear into the English batsmen. Like, "Last summer, Johnson broke Sangakkara's thumb. Are you better than Sangakkara?"