Johnson will rattle England: Harmison

Former England paceman Steve Harmison believes the mental scars inflicted upon England by Mitchell Johnson are yet to fully heal.

Johnson claimed 37 wickets in the 2013-14 Ashes, intimidating England with his express pace and bounce.

“I was sitting there thinking: I could die here in the Gabbatoir,” Kevin Pietersen recalled in his biography.

“You very seldom hear people in your own team saying that they are physically scared, but our tail-end batsmen were scared.”

Gary Ballance weathered a bouncer barrage from Johnson during the first Test, including blows to the forearm and chest.

However, the left-armer was largely ineffectual as England cruised to victory on a docile pitch.

Harmison warned his former side they’re unlikely to be so comfortable at Lord’s, where the second Test starts on Thursday.

“I don’t think the mental scars (suffered by) some of the England lads have gone totally,” Harmison wrote in his Daily Express column.

“If Mitch gets hot he can rip through four or five in half an hour.

“If he bowls on a wicket that suits him he is going to be a handful.

“He is still massively in the game.

“This was the bowler who took 37 wickets at next to nothing apiece down under and left some of England’s batsman with nightmares they are still struggling to shake off.”

Lord’s curator Mick Hunt earned widespread praise for the wicket he produced in May, when England hosted New Zealand in a thrilling Test.

Harmison suggested Hunt will be asked this week to strip the pitch of any grass.

“But they will not be able to stop it being faster with more bounce and carry than Wales,” he said.

“His bouncer will have more venom in it and he will ask more questions on the back foot.

“The England batsmen will be a little bit more wary coming forward.”

Harmison likened Johnson’s performance in the first Test to Stuart Broad’s tour of the West Indies earlier this year.

“He got eight wickets in three matches,” he said.

“What Broady did do there, though, was hone his rhythm and action.

“It is the same with Mitchell Johnson, who I think didn’t bowled bad areas at all.

“If he bowls the same at Lord’s and the rest of the series, he will get wickets and be more of a threat.”

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