As we are into the fifth and final Test match of the Ashes series in Australia, England batsmen have never really recovered from the pain inflicted by the Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in the first innings of the first Test match at Brisbane. To add to their misery, Johnson has been unrelenting and the blistering pace at which he has been bowling throughout the series is being attributed to his supreme fitness levels.
After analysing the data recorded in the GPS unit worn by the 32-year-old on day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, Channel Nine cricket high performance analyst Jock Campbell said: “The MCG is probably the biggest ground they play on in Australia so there’s a lot more distance they cover during the day.
“The fast bowlers always travel the farthest and Mitch did 23 kilometres on the first day.”
Comparing Johnson to the half-marathon runners, Campbell revealed that Johnson has more workload than the athletes.
“People say that’s it’s stop-start and he walks part of it and that’s great, but go and walk for 23 kilometres and tell me how tired you are at the end of it and try to bowl fast in the middle of it.It’s further than a half-marathon and he’s got to back up the next day and bowl fast again and try to get wickets.
“It just shows the endurance and athleticism of these fast bowlers, particularly the Australians. They tend to do more off-the-ball running – backing up throws and support play of the fields-men when they’re chasing balls.”
It was while running after the ball in the outfield, Johnson has recorded his top speed of 33.1kph, the fastest in this season, Campbell confirmed while speaking to the official website of Cricket Australia.
He added: “In previous years Mike Hussey’s done 35kph, Peter Siddle’s got up to 35.9kph and Brett Lee’s been the fastest one we’ve recorded so far, just over 36kph, and that’s faster than most rugby league wingers , fast guys in the AFL, or fast wingers in rugby union that get recorded.”
“What it demonstrates is that cricketers in the field chase over long distances, 50, 60, even 80 metres, so they’ve got to be conditioned to do that.”