Nielsen backs struggling Johnson to come goodhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/nielsen-backs-struggling-johnson-to-come-good/

Nielsen backs struggling Johnson to come good

Coach Tim Nielsen refused to accept that Mitchell Johnson had become a liability through the Ashes. “The last two years when we’ve played some pretty good...

Coach Tim Nielsen refused to accept that Mitchell Johnson had become a liability through the Ashes. “The last two years when we’ve played some pretty good Test match cricket and Mitchell has been at the forefront of that,” Nielsen told Cricinfo. “There have been a lot of times when batsmen and bowlers have been out of form and we’ve stuck with them and shown some faith,unlike the public or the press’s point of view.

“At the moment we’re working as hard as we can to get him bowling as well as he can and we feel he’s getting closer every time. We’ll have a look at the conditions when we get to Edgbaston and make the decision from there.”

On current form,though,conditions would make little difference to Johnson’s chances of success. Nielsen would neither confirm nor rule out Johnson for the Edgbaston Test,but did concede that both mental and mechanical factors were contributing to the bowler’s decline.

“He’s probably feeling every time he gets an edge and it doesn’t go to hand,” Nielsen said. “At the moment it hasn’t worked for him. The good players who last for long periods of time have to keep fronting up,whether it be good or bad,and keep doing the right things. That’s what I was pleased about with Mitchell today. He bowled fast at the end,he kept running in. I’m at him a bit about not dropping his head and not letting himself get too down. He’s done that pretty well.”

Drop Johnson: Media

Meanwhile,Australian media and cricket fans have demanded that Johnson be left out of the third Test.

“It’s hard to justify Johnson’s inclusion in a four-pronged attack,” The Sydney Morning Herald said. “Australia cannot afford to carry a pace bowler on a wing and a prayer. Johnson has had a bad tour. He’s been in England for months. His action has gone to pot and his confidence is in his boots. Perhaps too much was expected.”

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Fans also called time on Johnson. “When batsmen are out of form they get dropped. So should bowlers. Being 1-0 down we need five in-form bowlers to win a Test,” one of them said.