Ponting: Mitch is inspiration

2010-12-19 15:15

Perth - Australian captain Ricky Ponting says Mitchell Johnson's stunning four-wicket burst on the second day of the third Test has given his side all the momentum heading into the final two Tests.

An English win in Perth would have guaranteed they retained the Ashes, but instead the two sides head to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test locked at 1-1 after Australia's 267-run victory.

Johnson's took 6-38 in England's first innings, when he claimed four wickets in just 27 balls as he tore through the English top order with a combination of pace and prodigious swing.

Ponting said the spell put a whole new complexion on a series England had dominated until that point.

"Mitch's spell was unbelievable, probably one of the all-time great Ashes spells and to have that happen when it did, and have him coming into the game under a bit of pressure as well, was an amazing achievement from him and brilliant for the team," he said.

"It's set up this victory and no doubt now set up the series for us."

Ponting said the English would now see Johnson in a whole new light, after the left-armer struggled in the 2009 series in England then went wicketless in the first Test in Brisbane.

"It's transformed him and it's transformed the way that everybody talks about him and thinks about him as a bowler, whether that's in this room or in the English dressing room ... most importantly in the English dressing room," he said.

"Some of the deliveries that he bowled that got their batsmen out will now have them thinking seriously about the way that they play him.

"I heard some whispers coming into the game that they had Mitch's type of bowling worked out and they knew how they were going to play him.

"I'm not sure if they're saying that now."

Ponting said he always believed his side could turn the series around, and said all the doubts heading into the final two Tests would be in English minds.

"Momentum and confidence is a great thing in sport," he said.

"We've got the tide going back in our direction again now, more importantly we've got some of our key players, like this bloke beside me (Johnson) probably on top of the world and as much confidence as they've probably had in their Test careers.

"Mike Hussey is in the same boat, Watto (Shane Watson) is in the same boat, Ryan Harris is in the same boat.

"(Ben) Hilfenhaus is going great and (Brad) Haddin, I mean we've got a number of guys now that are really playing somewhere near their best and that's why I'm confident in this group.

"It's an amazing thing what a bit of confidence does and just having that winning feeling back around the team again can make the team achieve some pretty amazing things.

"England will be just starting to have a look at, one, their team makeup for Melbourne, and two, the sort of cricket they have to play if they want to beat us."

Read more on:    ashes  |  mitchell johnson  |  perth

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