Mitchell Johnson, I Presume?

With India grinding their way through a truncated, gloomy, opening day in Mohali, one's attention has tended to wander in the direction of Perth, where Australia hold the upper hand after three days, largely thanks to Mitchell Johnson's 8-61.

Until quite recently I was dubious about Johnson. A lot of people have dredged up Dennis Lillee's comment about him being a 'once-in-a-generation bowler', and, when I first saw him, I came to the conclusion that Lillee must have been talking about a pretty short generation. However, despite an action which has a slightly staccato, mechanical, look to it, he's starting to get good players out on decent tracks, and that surely, must be a sign that he has something.

It's easy to see why too; he bowls a tight line at high pace, gets good seam movement and has apparently been working on his aggression. With Lee's form waxing and waning and his inability to take really big-wicket hauls (he's never taken more than five wickets in a Test innings and is playing in his 75th Test) it's looking more and more as though Johnson's going to be leading his country's attack come the Ashes.

While the average English track won't offer him the type of pace he thrives on at home, he's shown that he can get plenty of movement with minimal assistance. If he gets England on a seaming track somewhere he could cause some distinct problems.

For the moment, though, 322 behind, the problems are all South Africa's.

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