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Ind vs Aus: Aggression is all mind games, says pacer Mitchell Johnson

Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson feels psychological warfare is important to intimidate the opposition

Melbourne: Never the one to shy away from a showdown, either with the ball or words, Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson feels “psychological warfare” is important to intimidate the opposition on the cricket field.

Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in Adelaide
Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in Adelaide recently. Pic/Getty Images.

In a new DVD titled ‘Mitchell Johnson: Bouncing Back,’ the pacer, who has tormented India with both bat and ball in the ongoing Test series in Australia, has spoken about the importance of instilling fear in the rivals.

“Sometimes we say stupid things when we’re out there. Sometimes we try and say things that hopefully get into the batsmen’s heads a little bit. We try to get them to think about their feet, or just let them know you are going to bowl another short ball. It’s all mind games,” Johnson was quoted as saying in the DVD by ESPNCricinfo.

“Sometimes, it might look a little different on TV. It might look as if we’re going a bit too hard at each other, and sometimes it could be a bit over the top. But we’re always trying to stay inside the guidelines,” he said.

Johnson was involved in an on-field spat with the Indians in the second Test in Brisbane where the visitors’ attempts at sledging him backfired badly. The tearaway bowler smashed 88 runs and came back to grab four wickets to help Australia win the match and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

‘It will never end’
Johnson feels aggression channelled well can yield good results. “If you can get into someone’s mind by speaking to a batsman and tell them that their feet aren’t going anywhere, hopefully they’ll start to think about that. You then bowl a short one at them, and you’re in their head. I love that part of the game. I think it’s great. And I don’t think it’s ever going to stop,” he said.

8: The number of wickets taken by Mitchell Johnson in first two Tests against India

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