Mitchell Johnson leaves Perth to turn up heat in Brisbane
FAST bowler Mitchell Johnson hardly has sour grapes watching on and seeing the Australian team going through such a difficult period in the current Ashes series.
Which is surprising seeing the left-arm express quick was not included in the tour group, despite the fact he has 205 Test wickets.
Like many, Johnson can see the Aussie quicks are giving it their all and troubling the English top order at times - it is the batting that is letting down the Baggy Greens.
"We've got a very good fast-bowling group. They've performed outstandingly in those conditions. They were a bit nervous in the first Test at the start, but they've kicked on," he said.
"We've got the talent there, we've got some experience, and we're in good shape. There are plenty of fast bowlers around at the moment that can do the job."
Johnson threw his support behind the newly-installed national coach Darren Lehmann, who took on the role after a 4-0 series loss in India, and strong rumours of disharmony within the team.
"It seems like Boof (Lehmann) is doing an excellent job. What he's done for the Brisbane Heat, he's got that relaxed feeling about him and when he needs to put his foot down he does," Johnson said.
"It's a hard road ahead I think with the way things are going, but I think we've got the right man."
Johnson, 31, has been keeping in touch with Lehmann in his efforts to gain a recall to the Australian XI.
He also feeling refreshed after spending seven months sidelined with a foot injury in the 2011/12 season.
"I just make myself as ready as I can be. I feel like I've been performing well since coming back from my injury," he said.
"Having seven months away from the game and working on some things I wanted to work on has been a big plus for me.
"I think I showed that through the Australian summer last year.
"With James Pattinson now injured, there's always that spot that can be filled."
Johnson was announced as the Brisbane Heat's big signing this week going into the third installment of the Big Bash League, with the lanky quick choosing the franchise of his native state over the Perth Scorchers.
He added the rise of Twenty20 cricket should not be blamed for the Australians losing their past six Tests.
"Everyone has these opportunities now (to play Twenty20 cricket all over the world) and I don't think that affects the way guys perform out in the Test arena," he said.