Mitchell Johnson fondly recalls Stuart Broad's sledging in 2009-10 Ashes

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Mitchell Johnson fondly recalls Stuart Broad's sledging in 2009-10 Ashes

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SportsCafe Desk

12/01/2017

Mitchell Johnson has recalled an incident of the 2009 Ashes when Stuart Broad had sledged him and tried to build pressure by throwing words at him. The former fast bowler also revealed that Virat Kohli used to bite back a bit if he was at the receiving end of sledging, while Joe Root would smile.

England’s Barmy Army chanted incessantly across the nine Tests that Mitchell Johnson had played against England between 2009 and 2011 – the most difficult period in his career as the paceman lost his incisiveness and confidence to become a laughing stock among the fans. Though he played the redemption song in the next Ashes, he revealed that he had faced some serious sledging from Stuart Broad during the 2009 series.

"Stuart Broad had a dig at me once when I was batting at the non-striker’s end," Johnson wrote in a column for The Telegraph. 

"'You’ve lost it mentally,' he said, 'you’re still the same'.

"He tried to put me off my game – and I did not mind that, in fact, I like it about the game. As long as it is not personal. But, Broad’s comments are about all the sledging I can remember in Ashes cricket.”

After 2011, Johnson went back to solve the technical issues with his bowling action and returned to the fold with an increased confidence, which helped him scale unimaginable heights. Johnson, though, puts his second coming as a Test cricketer largely down to an improved ability to manage his body language.

"In the first half (of my career), I used to drop my shoulders and that would tell the batsmen in the middle – and the ones waiting in the changing room – that something was wrong," Johnson wrote.

"In the second half of my career, I learned it was all about good body language. 

"I would puff my chest out, keep my head up, and if the batsman got any inside edge or something, I would let him know he was lucky."

There had existed a bitter rivalry between Johnson and Virat Kohli in India’s 2014 tour Down Under, where Kohli took a special liking towards Johnson and handled him comfortably. Johnson, however, also got the Indian talisman out 3 times in 6 innings on that tour. But more than that, their verbal exchange adorned the headlines more often than not. Johnson admitted Kohli’s propensity to bite back when someone tries to sledge him.

“Virat Kohli used to bite back a bit, Joe Root would smile”

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