Eng­land have a few is­sues com­ing to Aus­tralia, says John­son

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

set to be­gin on Novem­ber 23 in Bris­bane, John­son said Eng­land’s prepa­ra­tions had suf­fered a set­back with the de­feat.

“It’s only one game, but it’s the way they got beaten,” John­son told Aus­tralian me­dia in Syd­ney yes­ter­day.

“They’ve got a few is­sues com­ing to Aus­tralia. Aus­tralia are a huge chance.

“(Eng­land) prob­a­bly haven’t got that con­sis­tency at the mo­ment; they’ve changed their team a lit­tle bit so they’re try­ing to find the right squad,” added John­son.

“It’s get­ting close to an Ashes se­ries so you want to try and lock that in, and it’s go­ing to be hard for them now be­cause they’ve just been beaten.

“It’ll be a great se­ries, but there are some scars there as well.”

John­son wrote his name into Aus­tralian sport­ing folk­lore by plun­der­ing Eng­land for 37 wick­ets at an av­er­age of 13.97 to be named man-of-the­series in the 2013-14 Ashes.

Al­though hav­ing re­tired from in­ter­na­tional cricket in 2015, the left-armer said he would rel­ish the chance to bowl at Eng­land’s Gary Bal­lance, who has failed to sur­pass 34 runs in his past 11 in­nings.

John­son said the Zim­bab­we­born 27-year-old was not good enough to bat at No 3.

“When you’re a num­ber three you’re meant to be one of the best play­ers in the team, if not the best. I don’t think he is,” Mitchell said.

“If you’re a bowler and you see Gary Bal­lance at num­ber three you ac­tu­ally get a lot of con­fi­dence from that, so I think Aus­tralia will have a lot of con­fi­dence.”

A pro­tracted pay dis­pute be­tween Aus­tralia’s play­ers’ union and the na­tional cricket board has yet to be re­solved four months out from the first Test at the Gabba in Bris­bane, but cap­tain Steve Smith has played down fears of an Ashes boy­cott.

John­son said even if a deal were done, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween play­ers and the board had soured and would take time to heal.

“I think it’s go­ing to be very or­di­nary. Even if it gets sorted, the dam­age has al­ready been done,” he said.

“There has been big per­sonal in­sults thrown around about the play­ers be­ing greedy and those kinds of things, which is not the case, and much more.” – Reuters

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