Reliving Mitchell Johnson's Ashes 2013/14
If anyone asks a learned cricket observer about the Ashes that was held in the scorching Australian summer of 2013/14, only a name would strike their mind. That name is Mitchell Johnson. They would probably fail to verbalize the level of dominance experienced by the fiery fast bowler, who absolutely demolished, destroyed and dismantled every Englishman's defence.
The Aussies not only beat England by a large margin, they ruled every department, teamed up with their fans and played with their opponent's minds. Through the generations, they have developed largely unbeatable ways of sledging their opposition. And if it's England on the other side, you know what's coming their way.
They completed their sheer supremacy in the series by whitewashing the Englishmen and claiming the prestigious Ashes urn. In four out of the five tests, they batted first. They emerged victorious in these matches by a margin of 381 runs, 218 runs, 150 runs and 281 runs. When they took the field first, the mighty Aussies defeated the Alastair Cook-led side by 8 wickets.
In a team game such as cricket, everyone needs to fulfill their roles and play a part. Very rarely would one witness a single player bamboozling the opponent in a way Johnson did. With hair cut-short, a daunting horseshoe mustache and muscular arms inked with tattoos, Mitchell Johnson struck fear in the batsman's mind and took the entire series by storm.
To be honest, it looked like he would take a wicket off every ball that he bowled - such was his rhythm and pace. Speaking of speeds, the left-arm pacer recorded 150kmph on a consistent basis throughout the series. The right blend of express fast bowling with a pinch of movement proved to be his biggest weapon.
Also to mention, his sharp bouncers troubled the English batsman, disturbed their stance and gave them nightmares on the crease. Probably, the chin music created by him still buzzes in some of those batsman's ears.
Here are some of the memorable Mitchell Johnson's performances:
#1 The start of something special
First Test, Day 1.
Australia's top-order failures had been scrutinized before the start of the series. The debacle repeated as the Baggie Greens were reduced to 153-6 at tea. Then came Mitchell Johnson, who as we all know was capable of hitting a long ball. He swerved the proceedings and constructed a much-needed partnership of 114 runs with Brad Haddin, for the seventh wicket.
In addition to his remarkable bowling performances, Johnson orchestrated many lower-order rescues along with Haddin and the rest of the tail. In fact, their average 7th wicket partnership in the series was 55.28, second only to the 6th wicket partnerships, which averaged 69.12.
In this innings, he scored 64 runs in 134 deliveries, with the help of 6 fours and a couple of maximums.
Hence, this was just the start of the storm. The two sessions on the first day of the first test at Brisbane were probably the only sessions where the visitors dominated in the entire series. Since then, it was all Mitchell Johnson.