Aussie Johnson`s thriving in the fast bowler`s graveyard
Nagpur: Not many fast bowlers will tell you at the World Cup that they have a soft spot for the slow subcontinent pitches but a rejuvenated Mitchell Johnson is just loving it here.
The wickets here are known to be a paceman`s graveyard and are more suited to the spinners.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has used him as the first change behind fellow pacemen Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.
"(There is) something in the role that I have got as a first change and I enjoy that role a lot," Johnson said after his match-winning four for 33 on Friday.
"It just suits my bowling, I guess, the bang-the-wicket kind of bowling that I like, and the change-ups that I use.
"I just really enjoy the challenges over here of these conditions."
The tall and well-built Johnson has had a torrid time in the last few months with a loss of form during the early part of the Ashes defeat by England and critics had taken a particular liking to attacking him.
After being smashed for 170 runs without a wicket in the Brisbane test, he was dropped for the next one in Adelaide.
But he worked hard at the nets for two weeks with Australia`s bowling coaches and ripped through the England batting on his return to clinch nine wickets in the match, at his home ground in Perth, in a comfortable victory.
Johnson`s bowling, a splendid combination of pace and swing, has been mercurial on the slow and low subcontinent wickets at the World Cup.
As of Friday, Johnson was at the top of the highest wicket-taker`s list in the World Cup with eight scalps from two games.
"I saw the game between the Netherlands and England and it looked like a pretty good wicket," he said.
"I just had in the back of my mind I wanted to bang it in to the wicket like I did against Zimbabwe and probably not think about it too much but just go out there and enjoy myself."