'Positive' response as Johnson strikes Kohli on helmet with a bouncer

A fired-up Johnson banged in a short ball that struck Kohli flush on the badge of his helmet

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The Independent Online

A Mitchell Johnson bouncer that struck India captain Virat Kohli on the helmet during the first Test yesterday might help players get past the shock of Phillip Hughes’ death, according to Australia spinner Nathan Lyon.

A fired-up Johnson banged in a short ball that struck Kohli flush on the badge of his helmet on day three at the Adelaide Oval. With all mindful of Hughes, who died two days after being hit in the neck by a bouncer, the fielders rushed to the middle.

Though fans at the ground had applauded the first short ball that India’s Varun Aaron sent down to opener David Warner on day one, the blow to Kohli hushed the stands and Australia’s captain Michael Clarke consoled a visibly distressed Johnson.

Kohli was unharmed and went on to score a rousing 115 before the left-arm paceman dismissed him late in the day. India reached 369 for 5 in reply to Australia’s first-innings declaration at 517 for 7.

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Virat Kohli

“It probably has been a positive thing as well, as bad as that sounds,” said Lyon of the incident. “We know the helmets work and... have that confidence for our quicks to have a bouncer again.”

Lyon said the players had discussed the hit over lunch and Johnson had not been too affected by it. “He’s feeling good and I can guarantee he’s going to come out and fire in the second innings and have that aggression that we all love him for,” he added.

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