Australia have announced their 12 man Test squad to face England at the first Test in the Gabba in a week’s time. George Bailey having smashed in the selectors’ windows is in and so is the ever-mercurial Mitchell Johnson on the back of some fast and controlled bowling in India. For England fans who were in Australia in 2011, the Johnson selection may be seen as a time to rejoice, a time to once again heckle a man not cut-out to face the discipline of Andy Flower’s men.
“He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right,
That Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is shite” – The Barmy Army
The Barmy Army’s rendition of how shite Johnson’s bowling was and his case of the Yips has to be one of the lasting memories of England’s triumph last time around.
However, a glimpse into the Australian camp and the reaction of the squad at the “big reveal” press conference would hint at a different feeling altogether. Mitchell Johnson has regularly been hitting 90mph and there is a sense that his control, confidence and bowling arm (albeit still round-arm) is as high as it has ever been.
Michael Clarke seemed quietly confident at the press conference, almost sporting an an air of smugness, when he assessed where the prodigal quick was at.
“I think he is bowling a lot more consistently. His pace is certainly high, which is a good start. But it doesn’t matter how fast you bowl, if the bowler doesn’t know where it is going, it is always easy to face as a batsman. I think Mitchell has that control, he showed that in the one-day series, and it wouldn’t surprise me if in a couple of months time you see him as man of the series.” – Michael Clarke
While the talent and ability is monumental, Test cricket will once again be the biggest challenge of someone previously proved mentally fragile.
Should England fans be rejoicing at the recall of Mitchell Johnson? Can Mitchell Johnson overcome his demons and terrorise England? Have Australia made the right decision with their Test squad? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Australia’s 12 man Ashes squad
|Michael Clarke (c)||NSW|
|Brad Haddin (vc)||NSW|
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