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Shades of Akram in Johnson's 'energy and quality': Greatbatch

Posted By: Staff

Hamilton, mar 31(ANI): New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch has rated Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in the same league as Pakistani legend Wasim Akram, after he scalped 150 Test wickets quicker than any left-arm bowler in the game's 133-year history.

"He's a world-class bowler He's got great energy, he reminds me of Akram. He's not the same left-armer, but he looks like he can go up two or three gears on a flat deck, which is a real skill," The Herald Sun quoted Greatbatch, as saying.

"He has that energy and that ability, it's slightly different to Akram, but it's still the same quality. You've got to play each ball on its merits and get through. You've still got to be positive and look to score when he bowls bad balls ... but in that spell he didn't bowl many bad balls," he added.

Johnson brought up his 150th scalp at Test level when he clean-bowled New Zealand opener Tim McIntosh (19) to claim the first wicket during the fourth day's play in the Hamilton Test against New Zealand.

The 28-year-old achieved the milestone in 34 Tests, seven fewer than Akram, who finished with 414 wickets.

When told about the comparisons being made with Akram, Johnson said: "I used to watch him when I was younger, and I guess you grow up and want to be able to do the things that guys like him did when they played."

Johnson further said that he was not aware of him having accomplished the record.

"I didn't know actually (about reaching 150 Test wickets), I was only told when I came off. I'm not really a stats man, but it's pretty exciting. When you first start playing cricket for your country, you dream of getting a lot of wickets, but I never dreamed of getting 150," he added.

Johnson now tops the list, which includes Test greats Bill Johnston (35 Tests) and Alan Davidson (37), Derek Underwood (40), Tony Lock (40), Vinoo Mankad (41), Bishan Bedi (41) and Akram (41). (ANI)

Story first published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 17:06 [IST]
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