Aussie Johnson owes England after Ashes heartbreak
Brisbane: Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson believes he has banished his demons and promised England`s batsmen a torrid time in the upcoming Ashes series after being reduced to tears when Australia relinquished the urn last year.
The 29-year-old is likely to lead a three-strong strike bowling attack when the first Test gets underway in Brisbane on Nov. 25 and he said England captain Andrew Strauss and key batsman Kevin Pietersen would be in for particular attention.
"I really have unfinished business with England. I didn`t show the real me last time so I`m desperate to make up for that now," he said in an interview in December`s Wisden Cricket Monthly.
"I am more confident and more prepared now so I know I can knock over guys like Strauss and Pietersen. I have some plans for them this time.”
"Anyway, despite my problems, I did it last year too, and after facing them in five Tests I know a lot more about them. You will see a different bowler, no doubt about it."
Johnson took 20 wickets in the 2-1 defeat in England last year but is still haunted by his poor performance at Lord`s, where he gave up 11 boundaries in his first eight overs as England headed towards their first Ashes win at the ground since 1934.
"My body language will be completely different," Johnson said. "At Lord`s it was pretty obvious I was struggling. England`s batsmen could see I was vulnerable.”
"Now whatever is happening, if I bowl a bad ball I am going to stick my head up, push my chest out and be more intimidating, hide my emotions and be a more positive force.”
"I feel really good, the best I have felt for a while. All the niggles have gone and I am really looking forward to getting back in to it.”
"I have rediscovered a bit of hunger for the game. I have never not wanted to play but I just feel re-energised and refreshed.”
"I am going to have bad days but I am certain they won`t take over me like that again. The bad days need to become okay days but there are going to be plenty more good and great days."
Johnson, who played club cricket last week to try and regain a bit of form after a poor one-day series against Sri Lanka, said the memory of watching England lifting the Ashes at the Oval last year was a huge motivation for him.
"I tell you it was heart-breaking," he added.
"All my problems of the previous few months came to the surface, so it brought a tear to my eye. (It) was horrible, I felt sick, it was like a numbness, and I don`t want to go through that ever again."