Ashes 2015: Jeers and no wickets for subdued Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson will not mind being the man England fans love to mock in the Ashes so long as he is taking wickets but the friendly abuse might start to get under his skin if the Australian paceman continues to fire blanks.
Cardiff: Mitchell Johnson will not mind being the man England fans love to mock in the Ashes so long as he is taking wickets but the friendly abuse might start to get under his skin if the Australian paceman continues to fire blanks.
The left-armer bore the brunt of the boundary humour after going wicketless in England`s first innings at Sophia Gardens, a worrying sign for Australia even if he was working with an unhelpful and slow pitch.
He also suffered the ignominy of registering Australia`s first Ashes test century of the summer as his 25 overs cost 111 runs -- the 21st hundred he has conceded, which is the joint second highest for Australians, behind Shane Warne`s 40.
Johnson can not expect any lightning tracks like those he thrives on back home, where his express pace caused England so much discomfort in the last Ashes series when he took 37 wickets and gave the tourists nightmares.
Australia captain Michael Clarke said on the eve of the current test that his main strike weapon was bowling as fast as he had ever seen in the nets, hoping to instill fear into England`s batsmen.
But it was clear from the opening overs in Cardiff that Johnson would find the going tough, some deliveries going through on the second bounce to over-worked wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
There were moments of discomfort for England -- Gary Ballance was given a working over -- and first day centurion Joe Root old reporters he was sure "there will be times throughout the series when he bowls extremely well".
Returning on Thursday Johnson would have hoped to at least snag a tail-ender or two with three England wickets up for grabs but another forgettable morning left him once again cursing his luck.
For a minute or two he finally thought he had broken through when a nasty bouncer to Stuart Broad was fended off to short leg where Adam Voges claimed a low catch.
But after a long review to see if the ball had been grounded Broad was reprieved and Johnson stalked back to fine leg where to his credit, he took the stick in good humour by removing his Baggy Green cap and kissing the badge.
England had reached 430 when the jeers and hoots reached a crescendo as a back-tracking Johnson at mid-off failed to lay a hand on a miscued James Anderson skier and it was left to fellow paceman Mitchell Starc to end his torment, at least for now, by taking his fifth wicket to end the innings.