Mitchell Johnson: We have the most balanced side

Mitchell Johnson

Reflecting on his new franchise Kings X1 Punjab’s stunning start to the Indian Premier League 2014, Mitchell Johnson said that he has always believed Kings X1 could go great guns with the kind of team they managed to assemble in the 2014 Auctions.

The Australian pace bowler said: “I remember sitting around with the Australian team on our tour to South Africa, watching the Indian T20 League auction. When it came to an end, I actually said that this seems like a very well-balanced and all-round side.”

“It seems to be going on that way for us at the moment. We’ve had some very good wins and tonight’s was one of the better ones. On that Abu Dhabi wicket, I think we pretty much got a par score and it was always going to be tough batting second on it. We’ve been sticking to our guns and have been going really well,” he added.

On being asked about his current form, the 32-year-old said: “Yes, I’ve started the tournament quite slowly, coming back from my toe infection and it has taken me a few games to get into it. Probably the best I felt with my bowling was during the training yesterday; I felt like I am in my cricket mode again… That’s where I wanted to get to – bowling as aggressively as I was a few days ago.”

He has also doubled up his role as a mentor for the youngsters in the team. He said: “Yes, that is something I had thought about doing before coming here and I spoke to the team about taking up that role as a senior international player. These young guys coming through are willing to learn and are very good listeners. I remember what I was like when I was their age – you look up to the senior guys for a bit of advice.”

On being asked about how he uses the bouncer in the T20 format, Johnson explained, “Since you are allowed only one bouncer per over in the T20s, you have to be careful. I still try to use it to get the batsmen thinking on their feet and let them know they’re not going to always get balls on the half. It’s more about mind games in the T20 format.”

He signed off by saying, “Overall, you can still bowl a good short ball at the ribs and get the desired result. Guys will go for more attacking shots off short balls in this format and that makes it an interesting delivery to bowl. It makes the contest between the bat and the ball more enjoyable,”

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Edited by Staff Editor
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