The unforced break that Mitchell Johnson endured could really have done him a favour. He went away and worked on his action, got his arm higher, and returned with getting his inswinger back.
When a left arm over can bowl at pace (around 90mph) and get the ball to swing back into the batsman it creates real problem. With one delivery, the ball will go across the batsman, making the outside edge vulnerable. However, when he is able to get it to swing back, then this brings bowled and LBW into the frame in a big way!! To protect his outside edge a batsman likes to get as far across the wicket as possible, but, if he knows that a bowler is likely to dart the ball back into the stumps, it makes this movement very risky. The past masters of this of course were Alan Davidson and Garry Sobers and these deliveries, plus others, made them legends.
In a recent past article I mentioned how an all rounder’s confidence can go high with one department of his game helping the other. Johnson top scored in Australia’s first innings, and, surprise, surprise his confidence soared enough to give him brilliant bowling figures and back to his best. A timely improvement for Australia when they really needed him to perform. A performance that may yet lead to a drastic change in Ponting’s legacy as a player and captain.
With England trailing by a sizeable margin fortunes may change very quickly. GAME ON!