Former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson has warned Tim Paine on the reception he could get from the Barmy Army. Johnson says Paine has to prepare himself fully to block out the noise and concentrate on performing well if given a chance.
Tim Paine's sexting scandal that forced him to tearfully resign as Test captain is likely to be an intriguing subplot in the upcoming Ashes series. Although the 36-year-old intends to continue playing, his numbers aren't convincing enough to guarantee a spot in the playing eleven.
From his own experience, Johnson said that it would be a challenge to deal with the Barmy Army. Reminding that the herd has already designed their songs for Paine, Johnson told 2GB's WWOS Radio:
"It's going to be very difficult. It's very difficult. He's pretty confident that he can handle it ,so I think that's a good start if you have that confidence. But I've already seen something on the news that the Barmy Army have already got the songs ready and waiting."
Mitchell Johnson, who had some of his best bowling spells against England, shut the noise out well in the 2013-14 series.
The former left-arm seamer inflicted terror on the tourists with his hostile bowling, accounting for 37 wickets in five Tests to help Australia whitewash England.
"My problem was I started singing all the songs because they're so catchy" - Mitchell Johnson
Johnson said he is keen to see how Paine overcomes the mind games while acknowledging that the Barmy Army's songs can be 'catchy'. The 40-year old added:
"They do get to you. If I had any advice, it's to be really prepared for it as best you can, and try to block it out. I don't know how he will do that, but we'll have to wait and see, I guess."
"My problem was I started singing all the songs because they're so catchy, that's the issue. You don't realise at the time; it actually has a bit of an effect on you. He's going to have to figure a way to block it out."
The entire Australian team is likely to endure more flak after losing back-to-back Test series to India at home. However, they will start as favourites, mainly due to England's dismal record Down Under.