Coach Tim Nielsen refused to accept that Mitchell Johnson had become a liability through the Ashes. The last two years when weve 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 weve stuck with them and shown some faith,unlike the public or the presss point of view.
At the moment were working as hard as we can to get him bowling as well as he can and we feel hes getting closer every time. Well 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 Johnsons 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 bowlers decline.
Hes probably feeling every time he gets an edge and it doesnt go to hand, Nielsen said. At the moment it hasnt 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. Thats what I was pleased about with Mitchell today. He bowled fast at the end,he kept running in. Im at him a bit about not dropping his head and not letting himself get too down. Hes done that pretty well.
Drop Johnson: Media
Meanwhile,Australian media and cricket fans have demanded that Johnson be left out of the third Test.
Its hard to justify Johnsons 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. Hes been in England for months. His action has gone to pot and his confidence is in his boots. Perhaps too much was expected.
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.