Sydney: Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has said he is in better shape mentally and physically nowadays, and added that he is prepared to help the team beat South Africa in the first Test match at Gabba, Brisbane, starting from November 9, but also admitted he may not be picked by the selectors.
Since breaking down in Johannesburg last November, Johnson’s position in the national squad has been usurped by Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle, while gun youngsters James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have also left him in their wake.
All five fast bowlers, unlike Johnson before his injury, are capable of producing steady spells that allow Michael Clarke to confidently set fields and build pressure on opposition batsmen.
But Johnson said although he was once mentally a bit all over the place, he now believes he has more control at the bowling crease.
“For 12 months the mental side of my game was very scratchy,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Johnson, as saying.
“Coming back into it I’ve worked on a few little things technically and mentally. I feel a lot more consistent. I think I’ve shown that in the games that I play, my consistency has improved a lot,” he added.
“Through ``09 when I had a good year I don’t think I really knew why I was bowling so well, now when I’m bowling well I know why it’s happening or if I’m not bowling I know why not,” he said.
Johnson added: “I feel as if I’m better prepared for when those days do come. I think it’s more a maturity thing and thinking about the game a lot more. That’s been one of my downfalls in the past; I probably bottled things up a little bit and didn’t speak about performances, whereas now it’s out in the open.”