West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Barbados, 2nd day June 13, 2008

Change in outlook rewards Johnson

Cricinfo staff


Mitchell Johnson had a quiet tour of the West Indies until the second day in Barbados © Getty Images
 

A relaxed approach was behind Mitchell Johnson's sudden gear change that resulted in a burst through the lower order and career-best figures of 4 for 41. After a horrible first spell, which gave up 31 runs in four overs, Johnson returned after tea to shut down West Indies for 216.

In eight overs Johnson claimed 4 for 10 as Australia took a 35-run first-innings lead. "I was probably just searching for it a little bit too much this morning," Johnson said after play. "On the tour I haven't got too many wickets so I was probably just forcing it. After tea I relaxed a bit more and thought about it."

The simple alterations started to work in his first over back and Dwayne Bravo's attempted glance went to Brad Haddin. Denesh Ramdin followed dabbing to gully and the collection was completed with the additions of Sulieman Benn and Fidel Edwards.

"I'm just trying to be as relaxed as possible," he said. "I bowl best when I have a big smile on my face. That's what I tried to do after tea and it seemed to work. A four-for today was very exciting for me."

The bouncy pitch has caused much of the action, with 20 wickets falling on the opening two days. "You look at these wickets and you get a little bit excited," he said. "You've got to use controlled aggression, and not always get too short. Once I got that right today I felt pretty good."

Australia finished with a 70-run lead after reaching 35 for 0 at stumps. "The boys are pretty pumped and it's good to have no wickets down," Johnson said. "Hopefully we can bat tomorrow all day and put a good total up there."