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Johnson backs rotation policy

Sportal December 26, 2012, 8:32 pm
Mitchell Johnson

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Recalled paceman Mitchell Johnson believes Australia are improving because of their new rotation policy.

Johnson is one of Australia's many fast bowlers to have been in and out of the Test side this summer as national selectors attempt to manage the workload on their bevy of quicks.

Selectors received some criticism for leaving Mitchell Starc out of the Boxing Day Test, but the move worked perfectly as debutant Jackson Bird filled the void seamlessly as Sri Lanka were skittled for just 156 on the opening day at the MCG.

Starc was 'shattered' he couldn't play in his first Boxing Day Test, but Johnson thinks the new rotation policy for Australia's fast bowlers can only be a good thing.

"It is how we performed today as a group," Johnson said after his haul of 4-63 against Sri Lanka.

"All the bowlers bowled well, so we are happy with how we performed.

"There has been talk about rotation policies and all that, so to be able to bowl well as a group ... it is good to be able to go out there and perform as a unit.

"It can be tough at times when you are chopping and changing, but I think we have become a better side that is used to doing that as we have got those options there."

Johnson admitted to feeling nervous as he opened the bowling for the first time on Boxing Day, but said those feelings quickly evaporated after his first over.

"I knew two days out (that I would open) so I had a lot of time to prepare," he said.

"I have been bowling with the new ball in state cricket and really enjoying it.

"But today I think it is my fifth Boxing Day and we have always batted first.

"So it was a bit different today with the big crowd, but I was fine once I got past the first over."

Johnson believes Australia are now in a strong position to go on and record a series clinching victory, but knows there is a lot of hard work ahead of his team.

Australia reached 3-150 at stumps to trail by just six runs, and have Michael Clarke (20) and Shane Watson (13) unbeaten at the crease and ready to continue pressing hard on a wicket that appears to be improving.

"We have got a great wicket out there and we have got a big day ahead to put on some runs," Johnson said.

"We have just got to keep being positive and go out there and putting it to them. We need to work hard tomorrow and build on that lead."

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