Get the app

Lillee mentors Johnson on how to beat SA

Johnson is taking inspiration from his mentor Lillee.

December 12, 2008, 12:29 PM IST
Lillee mentors Johnson on how to beat SA

Perth: Australian quick Mitchell Johnson says that he is taking inspiration from his mentor Dennis Lillee to counter the visiting South African team both verbally and on the field.

Johnson, the fourth-leading Test wicket-taker in 2008 with 50 scalps, said Lillee has passed on advice for putting the heat on the South African batsmen in the first Test at the WACA next week.

Johnson has played only one Test at the WACA and is yet to make his first-class debut for WA after crossing over from Queensland.

"I've spoken to Dennis about bowling at the WACA. It's a bit different bowling here to Sydney or Melbourne. We just spoke about how things have been going for me at the moment and also just bowling at the WACA. It's somewhere where you've got to make the batsman play," the Courier Mail quoted Johnson, as saying.

"If you are bowling outside off stump it's pretty easy to leave here. So length is pretty important, and so is your line," he added.

Johnson said the WACA appeared to be returning to its fast and bouncy best, enhancing its reputation as a fast-bowling paradise. He also agreed the first Test was shaping as a "shootout" between the two pace attacks, with the tourists banking on highly rated trio Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel.

"There's obviously going to be a little bit of niggle there with their pace, our pace, their top order, our top order. They can talk as much as they want but we are just going to go out there and bowl what we have been bowling. We bowled quite well against New Zealand. These are our conditions, this is something that we're used to," he said.

"Dale Steyn can say what he likes. Once it's game day, we'll see what happens. They have been talking up their bowlers a little bit but I think our attack is something to look forward to as well. You've got Brett Lee and Stuart Clark there, two classy bowlers. We're going to put up a fight and I know they are as well," Johnson said.

Johnson, who took 14 wickets at 11 in the two-Test series against New Zealand that finished earlier this month, is keen for a new-ball role.

He is also confident the Australians have a better handle on the art of reverse-swing bowling after some struggles in the recent Indian tour.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more