1. Home
  2. Sports
  3. Cricket
  4. Australia Drops Mitchell Johnson For Second

Australia Drops Mitchell Johnson For Second Ashes Test

PTI 02 Dec 2010, 14:45:19 IST
Adelaide, Dec 2 : England's cricket captain Andrew Strauss said on Thursday  ahead of the second Ashes test in Adelaide that his team need to realise that have not won anything despite their encouraging performance in the first test.

Meanwhile Australia's made a surprising decision to release fast bowler Mitchell Johnson from the squad leaving Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris to compete for the vacant spot.

The first test ended in a draw in Brisbane with England making a superb second innings of 517 for one after conceding a dangerous 221-run first-innings lead in the series-opener.

After a couple of days or rain that had England's batsman Kevin Pietersen unleashing a Twitter tirade onto the groundsman, it was a glorious day at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday on the eve of the second test of the Ashes 'Down Under.'

Australia will be hoping their vice captain and middle batsman, Michael Clarke, has overcome the niggling injuries that plagued him going into the first test.

The "Baggy Greens" come into the second test with some selection headaches in the bowling department following England making a superb second innings of 517 for one to draw the match after conceding a dangerous 221-run first-innings lead in the series-opener.

At the start of the series, Mitchell Johnson was the spearhead of the bowling attack but the Aussie selectors announced that he had been omitted from the squad following his return 0-170 in Brisbane.

The decision leaves Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris vying for the vacant seamers spot.

Ricky Ponting insisted that dropping Johnson was not a sign of Australian weakness, and that picking the players most likely to win the game was the selectors' only consideration.

Ponting said: "The selectors felt that he was down on a bit of form and down on a bit of rhythm and that was highlighted in the last game so as we all know that the game of test match cricket is hard enough without trying to find those types of things in the middle of a test match so with the short turn around as well he just had the one bowl today so he has a little bit of time before the Perth test to hopefully rediscover some of that rhythm."

Johnson has vowed to fight his way back into the Australia side.

The left-arm quick has often been described as mentally fragile but the bowler insists his problems are purely technical and that he is confident of rediscovering his form.

Johnson said: "It's obviously disappointing but it is not the end of the world, we still have a lot of tests to go in this series and I'm going to be working my way back to get into this team and hopefully be a big part of it. There are a few things im going to obviously work on in the nets and I was a little bit out of form in the last test so obviously there is a bit of work for me to do and I'm going to get in the nets and work very hard."

Ponting predicted that the wicket in Adelaide would again favour the bat and said he will be hoping the English batsman do not perform as well as they did in the second innings in Brisbane again.

England skipper Andrew Strauss, who scored a century in Brisbane, was playing down the significance of any psychological advantage they may have received from their batting effort in the first test.

Strauss said: "This is a new set of circumstances, different conditions, a slightly different bowling attack and you have to be prepared to play what is ahead of you and not behind you. The theme of our preparation was one of making sure we keep our feet on the ground and realise it is 0-0 in the series and we have not achieved anything in this series yet. If we do not want to achieve something we have to steel ourselves for another tough five days of cricket."

England will not name its side until Friday morning, but is unlikely to make any changes to the line-up which forced a draw.

One man who has made the headline for the wrong reasons since the first test is the former captain Pietersen, who called the ground staff "pathetic" on twitter for not covering the practise wickets quicker when it started to rain this week.

Said Strauss: " I think Kevin was just frustrated because he wanted to have a long bat yesterday and he was not able to do that so he vented a bit of frustration, it is not something we want to get overly dragged into to be honest."

The 2006 match at Adelaide produced a memorable Ashes contest which Ponting regards as his favourite.

After England declared its first innings at 551-6, Shane Warne inspired a collapse to 129 all out in the second innings to set up an unlikely victory that kept Australia on course for its eventual 5-0 series whitewash.

Spin bowlers come into this test under some pressure.

Xavier Doherty needs to show he deserves his spot in the Australian squad ahead of Nathan Hauritz, and Graeme Swann - rated the No. 2 bowler in test rankings - to prove that he can be England's talisman in this series after taking just 16 wickets at an average exceeding 45 in six tests against the Australians.

Jimmie Anderson will once again lead the English bowling attack when play gets underway in the second test on Friday.