Ashes 2013-14: Mitchell Johnson on a high for the home comforts of Perth

 

Australia can hardly believe what is happening. Two weeks ago as the Ashes series was about to start, the mood was one of despair and lament for the years of glory long past.

Two huge victories later and it is clear that the Poms had it coming to them all along. The first Test was won by 381 runs, the second by 218, 56 minutes into the fifth day. With the third match in Perth looming, the talk is not only of regaining the urn lost in England in 2009 but of the third 5-0 whitewash in the history of the contest.

When they were beaten 3-0 in England in the summer, there is no doubt that Australia felt hard done by, that they had pushed England much harder than that scoreline made it appear. There is no doubt also, it would now seem, that they were correct.

“Even in England, we would have said the same, we thought as a team that we were a lot closer than what the results showed, a 3-0 defeat,” said Michael Clarke, Australia’s captain, on Monday. “So I can’t answer the question as to why we have won the first two Test matches so convincingly.

“It’s a positive for our team but I think these two wins are satisfying because of the work we have put in over a long period of time. In our opinion, as players, it’s not a fluke that we have won the first two Test matches. It’s hard work that we put in in the UK and we thought we were so close but we didn’t get over the line.”

Read more:

Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0

Ashes 2013-14 comment: England need to learn from Australia and master art of avoiding 'the creep'

Ashes 2013-14: Darren Lehmann's fingerprints are all over the way Australia have regrouped and fought back  

Ashes 2013-14: Former captain Michael Vaughan fears whitewash repeat unless drastic changes are made

Ashes 2013-14: England start soul-searching as quest to retain the Ashes is blown apart

There is a tendency to put it all down to the dramatic reintroduction to the team of Mitchell Johnson, who has bowled like the wind and instilled fear into the hearts and minds of the English. Clarke was at pains to allay that sentiment and did a splendid job of spreading the love after Peter Siddle ended England’s second innings with four wickets and Ryan Harris with three.

“This hasn’t just been a five-second turnaround,” Clarke said. “Mitch has done an amazing job. But it hasn’t just been Mitchell Johnson who has turned this team around. I certainly want the whole attack to get the credit they deserve for the performances they have put in in the first two Test matches.

“He has always been an X-factor, with bat, with ball, he’s as good an athlete in the field as you’ll see. Mitch has always had that. It’s just about working out how to use him best in your team.

“Our attack right now really complement each other so it allows Mitch to be used the way I feel is best for our team.

“He’s been our new-ball bowler, he’s bowled first-change, he’s bowled 12-over spells. Whatever’s required, he can do that.”

Johnson is a man redeemed. His two previous Ashes series have both ended in defeat for the team and, largely, personal failure. He now has 17 wickets in this series at 12.7 runs each and is bowling at speeds of up to 95mph.

His home is in Perth, he loves bowling at The Waca. “I’m going out there trying to bowl the way that I want to bowl,” he said. “I’m bowling in short spells, that is what Michael has wanted me to do through this series so far, and it’s something that I have really enjoyed doing. I guess having that intimidation factor is definitely a bonus.

“Mentally, I was on a high after the Brisbane Test but people around me definitely helped me get back into the right state of mind. I need to prepare for the next Test. Going back home, I’m looking forward to getting around friends and family, relaxing for a couple of days and making sure I’m ready.” For England the prospect sounds absolutely horrendous.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes