Johnson vows to rediscover aggression

Mitchell Johnson terrorised England in 2013-14 with a short-pitched assault.

It was the bouncer that delivered Johnson his 300th and 301st Test wickets last week, both coming in a sensational over during Australia’s loss in the third Ashes Test.

But the left-armer has generally pitched it up a lot more during the five-Test series.

“It’s something I need to have a look at throughout this Test match and just keep that aggression,” Johnson said on the eve of the fourth Test.

There was no better example of Johnson’s rejigged approach than last Thursday, when the express paceman reverted to a fuller line after dismissing Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes.

“I guess, from my point of view, I was just trying to really dry up the runs and I probably just lost that bit of aggression,” Johnson said.

“Because the ball has been swinging over here a lot more, I feel like I’m trying to get the ball up there a lot more.

“Lord’s is the only ground where I’ve had a real crack at it, and those two short balls (at Edgbaston).”

Johnson has snared 10 wickets in the series, a lower tally than Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc.

But the quick feels he’s become a more-clever bowler since the 2013-14 Ashes, when he claimed 37 scalps and demoralised a woeful England outfit.

“I probably didn’t start too well last Test match. You probably try a bit too hard when there’s a small total there to defend,” he said.

“Generally, I feel like I’ve bowled quite well throughout this tour.

“I’ve swung the ball consistently.

“I feel like I’ve become a much-smarter bowler and I feel like I’ve found a bit more consistency.”

Despite that, Johnson wasn’t thrown the ball at Edgbaston last Friday until England were 1-47 and cruising to their target of 121.

“I was really keen to get the new ball, but whatever is best for the team in those situations I’m happy with,” he said.

“It’s something that I’ve become better at, not to become frustrated in those situations where sometimes I feel like I might be better suited.”

Johnson has been denied the new ball throughout the series.

That will almost certainly change at Trent Bridge, where the fourth Test starts on Thursday, should Peter Siddle earn a promotion at the expense of Hazlewood or Starc.

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