Chennai: Mitchell Johnson was out for seven months due to a toe fracture and now attributes his successful comeback into the international arena to none other than the legendary Dennis Lillee, who has worked with him once he was done with his rehabilitation.
“Obviously, it’s been an amazing experience working with Lillee. I had fair bit of time out of the game, almost seven months, and was able to work with him at the MRF Pace academy as well as back home in our conditions,” Johnson said.
“Lillee knows my game really well... I trust him very much. He has been around for me throughout my whole career. It’s always nice to hear good things from him. Also nice to go out there and perform and put in what he has asked me to do,” he said.
On the other hand, the other Mitchell in the Australian squad, Mitchell Starc, feels that the Aussies should take encouragement from England pacer James Anderson’s success against the Indians.
“The Indians will know the conditions a lot better than we will. I think we will take a lot out of that India-England series. We have watched a lot of footage and how England went about their job against the Indian line-up. I enjoyed how James Anderson & Co. used the reverse swing and that’s something that we would to do,” Starc said.
Shane Watson, meanwhile, is ready to take more responsibility in Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey’s absence.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket here and met with a lot of success too... We’ve got quite a young group here, so I guess I am one of the people who would help out as much as I can.
“With Hussey and Ponting not here, (Michael) Clarke and me are the senior-most players… We’ve played the most here. We’ll certainly help out the young guys who haven’t had an opportunity to play here before,” Watson said.
Though pace would be the Australian’s main weapon, offie Nathan Lyon considers himself an attacking option.
“I think myself as an attacking option. And also with (Xavier) Doherty around, we have the capability to put the ball consistently in right place. We hope we will able to do that,” Lyon said.
And yes, the Aussies are aware of the Sachin Tendulkar factor. To put it in opener David Warner’s words: “He is a legend. At the end of the day, he has got the stats behind him, the experience behind him. We are here playing in his own territory and we know what to expect from the great batsman,” Warner warned.