Johnson criticises review system after late call against Beer
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 05 January 2011
Mitchell Johnson has experienced enough of the vagaries of form and fortune to sympathise with Michael Beer and the maiden Test wicket that wasn't. Alastair Cook was reprieved by umpire Billy Bowden's late call to check the legality of the Beer delivery that removed the England opener and Johnson, who suffered similarly in the previous Test, gave voice to the concerns in the home dressing room over use of the review system.
Cook top-edged an attempted plant over mid-wicket against the debutant left-armer. The ball was comfortably caught by Ben Hilfenhaus and Cook headed for the pavilion only to be called back by Kevin Pietersen. Replays showed Beer to have overstepped.
"Having been in that situation, I probably don't like how the system works," said Johnson. "It can be frustrating. If umpires think it's a no-ball they should call it rather than waiting. That is where the review system isn't that great. It has happened a couple of times now and we need to improve it. Everyone will have different opinions. I guess you just have to get your foot behind the line."
That is very much the view of the England camp and the sight of a spinner overstepping is not one likely to attract much sympathy. James Anderson said: "It's good cricket, because the correct decision comes out in the end. We think it's a very important part of our job to stay behind the line."
Johnson had Matt Prior caught behind, five runs into his innings of 85 in Melbourne, before he was also belatedly called for overstepping. Over the series Australia have been penalised for no-balls nearly three times more often than England; 19 to seven.
Beer finished his nine overs on day two, the first of his Test career, without a wicket. "You could see the reaction on his face when he was called for it," said Johnson. "It was disappointing for him that he couldn't claim his first wicket. I think the way he handled himself after that and the way he bowled were good signs for us.
"It looked like he spun the ball well and got a bit of drift. Pietersen got after him a bit at the start but then he started to get some drift and shut him down."
The mercurial Johnson added two late wickets to his earlier half-century as he continued his extraordinarily inconsistent series. After his half-century elevated the Australian total towards respectability, he was given the new ball, a rare honour in recent times. "That gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "I think my pace was up again and I did swing the ball a little bit there and use the wicket. I enjoyed it. The conditions suited me."
He also enjoyed playing under Michael Clarke's captaincy. "Michael probably gets out there a little more from my side of things. He came up to me and spoke to me and he has been doing it to most players," said Johnson. "He sent me a message the other night, saying a few nice things and making sure I'm ready. He's doing a great job being confident around the guys."
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Ronaldinho dream XI: John Terry, Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele are in as former Barcelona superstar names ideal side
UFC champion Ronda Rousey leaves presenter with broken ribs after he claims 'she can't compete with a man'
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'