Melbourne: Former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie Friday urged England to attack Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson when the two teams meet in the World Cup opener at the Melbourne Cricket ground (MCG) Saturday.
Johnson ripped through England’s top order in the One-Day International (ODI) tri-series final in Perth a few days ago to revive memories of Australia’s 5-0 Ashes whitewash in which the 33-year-old was named man-of-the-series for his 37 wickets at 14 runs each.
“I wouldn’t go down the path of looking to sit on him and just get through these spells, treat him like another bowler; if he bowls a bad ball, put it away, try to put the pressure back on him. No bowler likes going for runs,” Gillespie was quoted as saying by the Cricket Australia website.
Gillespie, who represented Australia in 97 ODIs, added that by downplaying the significance of Johnson, the English are actually boosting the pacer's confidence.
England skipper Eoin Morgan Feb 2 had denied that Johnson reopened Ashes wounds ahead of the World Cup opener.
“I’d try to throw the pressure back on him, because by not acknowledging that he has performed well against England in the past, I think that just adds a little bit of spark for Mitchell. He would see that as a real positive," he said.
“You do have to acknowledge if someone is performing well against you. You acknowledge it and then you can move on, whereas if you just stay in complete denial it is just going to fester.”