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Ponting as Mumbai captain will help me, says Johnson

Press Trust of India
Apr 12, 2013 at 07:16pm IST

Mumbai: Mumbai Indians pacer Mitchell Johnson Friday said having played for Australia under Ricky Ponting, who is currently leading MI in IPL 6, might prove to be advantageous for him as the skipper knows his game well. "I have been under his [Ponting's] captaincy for a lot of my career. I guess having Ricky as captain, I think he knows me pretty well. So that sort of helps a lot when we are in a situation because it is such a fast game," said Johnson ahead of Mumbai Indians clash against Pune Warriors here Saturday.

"The Champions League T20 was my first game for the Mumbai Indians and Harbhajan Singh was the captain, so that was quite different for me. But it was something new and something exciting.

"But Ricky knows me very well so he can pick up those little things quicker than Harbhajan could have. Having said that, when I was under Harbhajan I found that he was quite easy to talk to, pretty open to suggestions. He just said to me I know as a bowler you have got the experience, just let me know what field you want. I mean it is very similar to Ricky as well," he added.

Ponting as Mumbai captain will help me, says Johnson

"I guess having Ricky as captain, I think he knows me pretty well. So that sort of helps a lot when we are in a situation because it is such a fast game," the Aussie bowler said.

Johnson, who has toured India as a member of the Australia cricket team in the past, said the difference he is experiencing in the IPL while playing at the Wankhede Stadium is that the crowd supports his side up to the hilt. "I have enjoyed it so far. It's been very exciting, The crowds have been amazing. Obviously, I have made a few tours here for Australia and there has been big crowd for those games not cheering for us. But to be a part of Mumbai Indians team and playing for such a big crowd who are cheering for you, it is quite amazing. I am really enjoying it at the moment," said Johnson.

Asked how he intended to stop Pune Warriors from getting the sort of start they had against Rajasthan Royals that helped them end their 11-match losing streak, Johnson said he was confident of finding a way out. "It's Twenty20. You have got to find a way to stop them from hitting out. Because anyone on their given day can get out there and blast runs very quickly. You have to find a way to cope with it," said Johnson.

"I guess for me it's just may be try to slow the game down because as a bowler you can get a bit frustrated and start rushing back to your mark and wanting to bowl as quick as possible," he explained.

Johnson said there won't be much of a difference playing a match starting at 4 pm, except the fact that dew won't play a part. "We haven't started at this time yet in this tournament. I don't see any difference. Obviously, under lights there is a little bit of dew that is around at night. We are probably not going to get that through the late evening," he said.

Asked about the team composition, Johnson said: "I think we are playing very well. Whatever team is picked will be the best team for the situation. Everyone has been doing a good job so far. Hopefully, we can get another win here at our home ground. We will wait and see."

A handy lower order batsman, who has a Test ton to his credit besides seven half-centuries, was happy with the track he bowled on in the previous game against Delhi Daredevils, which Mumbai won by 44 runs. "I found it quite nice the other night. Seemed like it had a decent pace, good for batting and good for bowling. We made a pretty good score [209]. If you missed your mark you got punished but if you bowled in good areas, it was quite difficult to score.

"It is good to play at home. That was my first home game and I was a little nervous. The wicket played very well. Hopefully it is another good wicket. It will be interesting to see how the wicket will play [tomorrow]," said Johnson.

"I enjoyed playing in Bangalore. I have always enjoyed playing there. There seems to be little bit in it for the bowlers...a nice carry there," he added.

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