New Delhi: When Varun Aaron dismissed Brad Haddin early in the first session of the Gabba Test on Day 3, India looked in a commanding position as Australia still trailed by 161 runs with just four wickets remaining.
In walked Mitchell Johnson.
The left-arm seamer had struggled to create havoc with the ball, something which he had perfecttly done right throughout the year. There were a few words exchanged between him and Rohit Sharma, who possibly reminded him he had gone wicketless in the Test so far.
Johnson replied back with a superb counter-attack, where he sent the Indian fielders on a leather hunt for the next 26 overs. While Australian skipper Steven Smith would have wanted Johnson to support him with a decent knock, he would have had no idea that the left-hander was in a different mood as he clobbered 88 runs off 93 balls in a crucial 148-run stand for the seventh wicket.
It was a game changing partnership, where the Indian bowlers kept bowling full to Johnson, who looked desperate to prove a point after having an ordinary first innings with the ball.
His batting approach eased the pressure off the other tail-enders as Mitchell Starc (52), Nathan Lyon (23) and debutante Josh Hazlewood (32), all made significant contributions that took Australia past the 500-run mark.
While he helped his team come out of dire straits in the batting department, it would be interesting to see if Johnson can take the confidence into his bowling in the second innings.