Pressure Got to Me in Ashes, Says Johnson

Sydney, Jul 12 (IANS): Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson Tuesday revealed that his desire to bowl flawlessly during his team's failed Ashes campaign backfired on him and led to his mediocre performance in the high-profile series.

Barring his spell of 6-38 in the third Test in Perth, Johnson was lacklustre in the other matches.

Johnson admitted the pressure of performing well against arch-rivals England got to him.

"I put too much pressure on myself to bowl the perfect ball all the time and in a big series like the Ashes, you just can't do that," Johnson was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

"I struggled over in England in an Ashes series and let it get to to me. I guess it's the build-up and pressure of an Ashes series. I haven't come across that in any other series where I have struggled that much with the pressure.

"I felt I performed well at the World Cup and that was a big tournament."

Johnson, who is training with the side in Brisbane, spoke on how newly bowling coach Craig McDermott advised him to grip the ball.

"I bowl with my fingers close together and I don't have as much control with the ball so it will help me stand the seam up more and hopefully have more balance with the ball.

"Fast bowling is about being in the batter's face, letting him know you are there. But I think when I bowl at my best, I am not really in-your-face aggressive. Snarling at the batsman doesn't really work for me.

"I don't mind getting in the contest when it is there and I have had a few run-ins with batsmen but I think you know when not to overstep the mark."

Johnson has opted out of the inaugural Big Bash League to focus on his preparations for the Sri Lanka tour next month and later the India series at home.


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