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One more test, Johnson would have broken my record: Hogg

Sydney: Had there been another test Mitchell Johnson would have sailed past the Australian mark for wickets in a home Ashes series, says the record-holder Rodney Hogg.The man of the series in Australia's 5-0 whitewash
India TV Sports Desk January 06, 2014 14:44 IST
India TV Sports Desk
Sydney: Had there been another test Mitchell Johnson would have sailed past the Australian mark for wickets in a home Ashes series, says the record-holder Rodney Hogg.




The man of the series in Australia's 5-0 whitewash of England finished with a stunning 37 victims, destroying the visitors with a brutal combination of short-pitched bowling and speed.

Hogg collected 41 wickets at an average of 12.85 for an Australian team missing its World Series Cricket superstars in 1978/79 but that series was played over six Tests rather than five.

And while Hogg himself pocketed 40 in the first five matches of that campaign more than three decades ago, he compared the performances of Johnson and Ryan Harris to that of legendary duo Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee in their heyday and said the reborn left-armer would surely have knocked off his record if there was another Test to come.

"He would have taken another 10 the way he was going," Hogg said. "If England had batted a bit better, and kept the other bowlers out as well, he would have been up around it anyway.

"To be honest I like hanging onto the 41 but the wicket we played on at the MCG in 78/79 . . . Johnson would have taken 25 wickets on that pitch."

Hogg rated the performance of the Australian quicks on Saturday morning at the SCG in the highest company. England, resuming their first innings at 1-8, were a wreck at 5-23 by drinks of the first session.

"The bowling by Harris and Johnson that second morning in Sydney  was the closest thing you've seen to Lillee and Thomson in '74/75 for sure," Hogg said. "Harris bowling like Lillee more accurately and Johnson just bowling genuinely super fast. We haven't seen anything like that and you probably won't see anything like it again.

"I can't recall anybody being so dynamic in a series and that's not taking anything away from Harris and  Peter Siddle. Ryan Harris was just magnificent too. If Johnson hadn't have been so freakish we'd all be raving about Harris."

Johnson was like Thomson in the way he left batsmen mystified about what was coming out of his hand next and had Alastair Cook's men hopping from the beginning of the series in Brisbane in November.

"When you see Ian Bell try and duck a ball and it's already in the 'keeper's gloves you know there is some serious things happening," Hogg said.

"The way the ball comes out of his hands sometimes there's something extra there. Thommo was a freak because the ball went behind his body so people didn't get a good look at it. But Johnson - out of his shoulders it's coming out like a slingshot and they're not picking them up.

"Look back at Adelaide . . . on a really flat, deadpan wicket, only Jeff Thomson in the history of the Ashes could have bowled that pace."