Exciting to play under Ricky: Mitchell Johnson

MI pacer hopes they can make it three wins in a row for his side

Mumbai 12 April 2013
Confidence will be sky high and there will be a lot of positive energy in the Mumbai Indians dressing room after their comprehensive 44 run win against the Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday. Their big guns in Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar might have failed to give them a good start early on in the innings, but they found two young lads; Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma to share the responsibility to help MI register a 200 plus score.

Up next against them is the Pune Warriors India outfit, a team that finally got a win under their belt after 11 straight losses when they trounced Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets on Thursday. Their batsmen went hammer and tongs after the RR bowlers who were left listless, defending a total of 146.

For Mumbai Indians’ pacer Mitchell Johnson, it’s all about slowing down the game when the batsmen are going berserk. “ Look, you have got to find a way to stop them from hitting out, because anyone on a given day can go out there and blast runs very quickly, it’s just how you cope with it,” said Johnson who addressed the media here in Mumbai. 

“I guess for me it would be slowing down the game just a touch. As a bowler you can get a bit frustrated at times when the batsmen are after you and as a result, you start rushing back to your mark, wanting to bowl as quickly as possible. At such situations, you need to take a little bit longer to get back to your mark and think about your game a bit more. You’ve still got time in this game, you feel that you have to rush through everything, but you have to take your time, which works,” added the left-arm pacer.

When asked if there might be any changes in the squad considering it’s a day game at the Wankhede, Johnson said, “We are playing well and whatever team is picked will be the best team for the situation. Everyone is doing a good job so far, we have got two wins from the three matches and hopefully we can make it another win in our home ground.”

The previous game at the Wankhede stadium was a run feast. As many as 374 runs were scored in the match and one can expect a cracker of a contest on Saturday. “The Wankhede track is good for batting and good for bowling,” Johnson spoke about the wicket.

“If you missed your mark as a bowler, you can say you will get punished, but if you bowl at good areas, it is quite difficult to score. It will be interesting to see how the wicket will play tomorrow. The wicket played well last time around and hopefully we have yet another good wicket on offer.”

Johnson has played all the three games that the Mumbai Indians have played so far and is at the moment soaking in the love and admiration he has got from all the Mumbai Indians fans. “I have enjoyed it so far. It has been very exciting, very fun, the crowds have been amazing. I came here the other night and was a bit nervous playing in front of such a big crowd that was cheering for you. The feeling is amazing and I am really enjoying it at the moment.”

There was a smile on his face the moment he was asked, as to how it felt playing under his former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. “I guess having Ricky as captain again helps a lot. I have been under his captaincy for a brief period in my career and he knows me pretty well. He can pick up those little things quickly during a tough situation in such a fast game. I am enjoying having Ricky here; it has been good.”

And before signing off, Johnson had a special message. “We are dedicating this game to the under privileged kids as a part of the “Education For All” initiative. It’s a programme that is very close to Ms Nita Ambani’s heart and the team is fully supporting her and looking forward to playing for the kids.”
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