Kohli will bring aggressive approach to Indian cricket: Johnson

Kohli will bring aggressive approach to Indian cricketJohnsonSYDNEY: Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson feels new India Test skipper Virat Kohli’s “in your face” attitude will spill over to his captaincy and will bring an aggressive approach to the way the Indians play cricket.

Kohli and Johnson have had frequent run-ins during the first three matches of the four-Test series, which Australia have already sealed in their favor after winning the first two Tests and the third being a draw.

“It could be quite interesting because they’re not known for that aggressive type of play. But ever since I’ve seen him play cricket, I’ve always seen him pretty fiery,” said Johnson.

“So he’ll definitely be an aggressive type of captain I think in the way he sets fields, and I think you’ll see a lot different to what M S did. He is a fierce competitor and he really does like to get involved in it all,” he added.

Johnson said Kohli’s approach hardly changes irrespective of who the opponents are.

“It doesn’t matter who he plays against, he plays in your face and that is how he likes to play the game. Virat’s just been telling us how many runs he’s scored and we’ve just been saying we’re two-nil up in the series so that’s pretty much it. It’s always been part of the game and always will be,” said Johnson.

Johnson, meanwhile, said he was forced to cut down on his pace due to longer stints he was asked to bowl against India but is now keen to go back to his shorter spells, similar to those he fired down at England last summer.

Except for an influential spell on the final morning of the Gabba Test, Johnson has not been up to the mark so far in the ongoing series against India, and also had to reduce his pace by around 10km/h than what England and South Africa were subjected to. Key to his high speed were the short bursts of around three overs that Michael Clarke kept Johnson fresh for.

“I’ve been bowling longer spells. That’s been at the back of my mind where I know I’m going to be bowling four, five, six over spells that I can’t be flat out every ball. It has dropped off a little bit,” Johnson insisted. There have been a number of longer spells this season for Johnson, who had to reduce his pace in an effort to maintain his energy levels. But now he is adamant to take it up with skipper Steven Smith and coach Darren Lehmann.

“It’s been a big 15 months as well so it’s tough cricket.

We go out there day in and day out and we work really hard and to be able to bowl 150 every game. I’d be dreaming if I could do that. But I’d like to be going back to bowling shorter spells again. Hopefully I can do that in this (Sydney) Test.

At the moment I’m just doing what the team needs me to do and that’s bowling those longer spells,” Johnson explained.

“I’ll speak to Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann and see if we can go back to those three over sharp spells because I think that worked really well for us in the past. But that’s just me speaking. They might want me to bowl those longer spells again. Be happier with me bowling an average of me bowling 140 again, and occasionally get it up there as well.”

The pitches for the India Tests have been by and large more amenable to batsmen than they were for England, lacking the sort of pace and bounce that promotes batting collapses, and that’s probably the reason why Smith and Lehmann chose to use Johnson differently.

Besides this, dropping of Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris’ creaking body have been other reasons behind Johnson being asked to do more draining shifts at the bowling crease.

“You like a wicket to break up, that’s what you expect from a five-day wicket. And it looked like a three-day wicket by the end of it,” Johnson said of Melbourne’s seemingly indestructible surface.

“And it happened in Adelaide as well, obviously just had the footmarks there which was helpful for Nathan Lyon, but the middle of the wicket, it’s a little bit disappointing. We played over there (in India) and lost four-nil on some pretty ordinary wickets, I thought, and we were hoping for them to come over here and play on some good, bouncy wickets.

“I even thought the Gabba wasn’t the normal Gabba. A bit of bounce there but it just wasn’t the same. Wickets have been suited for the batters more than anything I think,” he said.–PTI

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