'Destroyer Johnson has heart of gold'
Sri Lanka’s bruised batsmen might care to disagree, but Mitchell Johnson cares about the well-being of his victims off the pitch, according to Australia captain Michael Clarke.
The mercurial pacer was justly named man-of-the-match on Friday for his wrecking ball performance in Australia’s innings and 201-run victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground that gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Johnson scored an unbeaten 92 and took six wickets, but his venomous short-pitched bowling left its mark on Sri Lanka, breaking the thumb of wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene and the forefinger of Kumar Sangakkara, who will play no further part in the series.
“I think the other side that a lot of people don’t get to see of Mitch is that on the field, he is as aggressive as anybody, but he’s the first guy today to walk into the change-room and make sure everything’s okay with Sangakkara,” Clarke told reporters.
“I think a lot of people don’t get to see that side. “He will fight hard, there’s no doubt about it, and wants to have success for Australia and help us win, but off the field he’s the first guy to go and make sure in this instance Kumar’s OK.”
Johnson’s outstanding return, having been dumped for the first Test victory in Hobart, leaves Clarke and his fellow selectors with a dilemma ahead of the dead rubber Test in Sydney starting on January 3.
Clarke said pacer Mitchell Starc, who was controversially rested for the MCG Test despite being fit and in-form, would bowl in Sydney, meaning a battle for the remaining pace bowling places on a wicket traditionally conducive to spin.
“If Mitchell Johnson performed the way he did in this Test match, it’s going to be very hard to leave him out,” Clarke said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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