London: Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson wants to make up for his below-par performance in last Ashes series with a successful campaign at home against England this season.
Johnson, who will be 29 next week, said he was mentally distracted during the 2009 Ashes series, saying he built it up too much and subsequently failed to find his best form as England won their second consecutive series on home soil.
“Over there, I definitely built it up in my mind,” he was quoted as saying in a newspaper on Tuesday.
“It was a huge deal for me, like any young guy coming through. But look, I think I’ve learned that lesson now. I have experienced that and now I have adjusted to the pressures of, I guess, being a leader of the attack as well. So I am looking forward to this series, it’s something I’m very excited about.”
Johnson took 20 English scalps at a respectable 32.55, but his lack of control at times meant captain Ricky Ponting was sometimes reluctant to hand him his primary strike weapon, the ball.
But, heading into a new Ashes series, Johnson is determined not to make the same mistake twice.
“We want to win, that’s for sure,” he said.
“We’re in our backyard now, we’ve got the wickets that we enjoy. There’s been a lot of talk already, that buildup started pretty early on, so we’re all ready and keen to go.”
Having been part of Australia’s losing side in India, Johnson said it is important to get some practice time on home wickets.
“We just came back from India where the wickets are pretty docile. Just training this morning, the wickets are bouncing through, so you have got to adjust your lengths over here again. I think it’s pretty important that I’m having this game to be able to work on a few things and hopefully get into a good rhythm and build myself up for the Ashes.”