Never was he more lethal than on the Saturday morning of the Adelaide Oval Test, on the third day of the second Test. He ripped through England’s battered and bruised line-up to grab 7/40 off 17.2 overs as Alastair Cook’s men crashed for 172.
Aussie skipper Michael Clarke led the way with 148, while wicketkeeper Brad Haddin made 118 before Clarke declared at 9/570 late on the second day.
Johnson was a man on a mission after a year in the wilderness. The Barmy Army had taunted him during the 2010-11 Ashes campaign as his form wavered, singing: He bowls to the left, He bowls to the right, That Mitchell Johnson, His bowling is shite. He was not selected for the tour of England in 2013, so do you reckon he was fired up for the first Test of 2013-14 at the Gabba?
The Barmy Army was silenced as Australia won by 381 runs and it was largely due to Johnson, who snared 4/61 and 5/42 and made 64 and 39 not out.
He made his intentions clear late on the second day of the Adelaide Test when he clean bowled Cook with a ball former Test skipper Mark Taylor described as “an absolute beauty”. Cook seemingly had the ball covered as it started to swing into him before it straightened up and knocked back his off-stump. The bumper Adelaide Oval crowd loved it but it proved just an appetiser for his stunning spell the following day.
Thunderous Johnson also clean bowled pace bowling rivals Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson – both for first-ball ducks – and tailender Monty Panesar, while trapping debutant allrounder Ben Stokes lbw for one. The Aussies, inspired by Johnson, picked up 7/61 to finish off England’s innings and claim a commanding 398-run first-innings lead.
England was effectively batted out of the game when explosive opener David Warner slammed an unbeaten 83 in Australia’s second innings 3(dec)/132. For the second time in the game Johnson picked up English skipper Cook early on but his side fought it out to reach 312, Joe Root showing his class with 87.