Ponting believes Johnson is a new threat without the new ball

Posted By: Staff

Birmingham (UK), Aug.5 (ANI): Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting believes he has unlocked the secret to pace bowler Mitchell Johnson - keep him away from the new ball.

There are encouraging signs that Johnson is starting to turn his horror Ashes tour around. This was evident during his superb spell to Ian Bell in the drawn Edgbaston Test.

Johnson bowled with venom and rediscovered his inswinger - and while he may not yet be at his best, he can take fresh confidence into the fourth Test at Headingley, starting on Friday.

"Not having the new ball might have made it easier for him (Johnson), not running in trying to swing the new ball," Ponting said.

"Nobody has been able to do that in the Ashes anyway. That's helped him, using him in slightly different ways," Ponting added.

"Mitchell was a different bowler altogether than he was the last couple of Test matches so that is a real positive for us," he said.

The left-armer has had to deal with a barrage of problems during the Ashes, from technical concerns over his action to a personal issue involving his mother.

But Ponting believes Johnson has dealt with his demons.

"He's been quite relaxed around the change room," Ponting said.

Australia will not make big changes to their side for Friday's fourth Test, although Brett Lee and Stuart Clark will come into contention and one could win a spot at the expense of Peter Siddle. (ANI)

Story first published: Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 18:33 [IST]
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