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To keep Johnson in rhythm, Ponting to keep a close eye

Posted By: Staff

Melbourne, Aug 10 (ANI): Australia is keen to keep fast bowler Mitchell Johnson bubbling along before the deciding fifth Ashes Test to be played at The Oval.

Australia waited 10 weeks on tour for the left-arm paceman to hit form and is wary of allowing him too much time off before the final Test.

Skipper Ricky Ponting said he wanted Johnson and fellow quick Peter Siddle to maintain their good rhythm from the Headingley fourth Test triumph.

"I think that's pretty important, both him and (Peter) Siddle. Bowling coach Troy Cooley will make sure he manages their workload well over the next few days," Ponting said.

"I think we've got six days before the next tour game starts so it's probably 10 or 11 days before the Test match starts," he said.

Fearful of burning out Johnson after his heavy workload that included playing 12 Tests during the 2008-09 season, Australia took a cautious approach with him coming into the Ashes tour, FOX Sports reported.

The selectors kept faith in him at Edgbaston before being rewarded at Headingley as he collected 5-69 in the second innings and had two catches put down off his bowling.

"I felt through the Edgbaston Test things started to come back for him. He showed there he swung a couple of balls back in the right-handers and caused some problems and he did that particularly well in this game," Ponting said.

"For us now having him in that sort of form and having that confidence under his belt going into the final Test at 1-1 is a really good sign for us," he added. (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, August 10, 2009, 16:08 [IST]
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