Johnson enjoys chance after long BBL wait

Spencer Johnson knows the comparisons are coming.

The left-arm paceman hit the magical 150km/h mark in his second BBL game for the Brisbane Heat last week, more than two decades after a young Mitchell Johnson first turned heads at the Gabba with his own thunderbolts.

Unrelated to the retired Australian great, Johnson's emergence as a 27-year-old has been a long time coming.

As a 20-year-old he missed more than two years of cricket with an ankle stress fracture just as his career looked to be taking off.

After two seasons unused on the Strikers' list, a move to Brisbane in the off-season was a "no-brainer", Johnson pushing his way into a two-year BBL contract after a standout Twenty20 club season with Marnus Labuschagne's Redlands.

"I've had a bit of a unique journey; 27 now and first crack at BBL cricket," Johnson said ahead of the Heat's must-win game against Hobart in Brisbane on Friday.

"I am a bit of a fan of Johnno (Mitchell Johnson) - the 2013 Ashes, watching that was just amazing.

"But really, I love any lefty and Mitch is a little different to what I am. He charged in while I'm a little bit more laid back."

That easy pace caught Brett Lee's attention in the commentary box and has Italian cricket types interested too, given Johnson's family links mean he is eligible to represent the country at World Cups and potentially the Olympics.

Joe Burns, also with Italian roots, was another to sit up in his chair.

"Hang on, so you're telling me the SACA have had a guys (sic) called Johnson bowling 150kph and haven't been playing him?," the injured Queensland and Melbourne Stars batter tweeted.

The understated Johnson has qualifications in horticulture and turf management after former Redbacks bowler and SACA grounds manager Trent Kelly took him under his wing.

But now he has had a taste of the high life, is he dreaming of more?

"You can't think like that," he said of the prospect of a first-class debut or national call-up.

"I'm just really stoked to be out here; to get an opportunity is amazing and a cool moment for me and my family."

Heat captain Usman Khawaja said Johnson had quickly adapted to the higher level.

"I faced him in the first game (of Brisbane's first-grade T20 competition) and I thought, 'This guy is pretty good'," Khawaja said.

"He's bowling 150km/h, troubling all the batsmen - that's good to watch when he is on your side.

"I wasn't expecting that. The best thing about it is that he's a really good kid and I am enjoying having him in the team."