Mitchell Johnson earns plaudits for match-winning role in Brisbane victory
Steve Smith may have been awarded man-of-the-match in his first Test as Australia`s skipper but Mitchell Johnson earned the plaudits for his match-winning exploits in the second Gabba Test on Saturday.
Brisbane: Steve Smith may have been awarded man-of-the-match in his first Test as Australia`s skipper but Mitchell Johnson earned the plaudits for his match-winning exploits in the second Gabba Test on Saturday.
Smith scored his second ton of the series with 133 in Australia`s first innings and took a marvellous diving catch to dismiss Rohit Sharma, but all the talk was about Johnson`s dynamic impact on his team`s four-wicket victory.
The ICC Cricketer of the Year turned around the Test twice for the Australians with bat and ball and was symbolically at the wicket when the winning runs were hit to clinch victory.
Johnson came into bat with Australia shaky at 247 for six and still trailing India in their first innings by 161 runs with four wickets left.
He took to the bowlers, peeling off 88 runs off 93 balls with 13 fours and one six, and shared in a ground record 148 runs with Smith for the seventh wicket.
Johnson followed up his game-changing knock with a dynamic spell of fast bowling on Saturday to power his team to victory.
His hostile spell of three for 10 in the space of 11 balls ripped the heart out of the tourists` top order in the morning session.
Johnson snared four wickets for 61 off 17.3 overs to help dismiss India for 224 and leave the home side the task of getting 128 runs for victory.
Smith certainly knew what contribution Johnson made to the Test outcome.
"He certainly turned it for us today with that little spell. He cracked the game open for us," Smith said.
Of Australia`s first innings, Smith added: "It wasn`t a great position to be in (247 for 6). It was just amazing the way that Mitch came out and took the bowlers on from ball one was outstanding.
"That was a big turning point in the game, to get that partnership there with Mitch.
"He got them off their lengths a little bit and probably helped me out up the other end as well. Credit to him for the way he played."