Johnson sets sights on duo

Aussie pace bowler says he will target Strauss and Pietersen

Last Updated: 23/11/10 11:47am

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Johnson: Has plans for Strauss and KP

Johnson: Has plans for Strauss and KP

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Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson has singled out Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen as the England batsmen he will be targeting in the Ashes.

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"He's a very fiery player - it's his nature. We've got a bit of history and that will probably continue through this series."
Mitchell Johnson on Kevin Pietersen Quotes of the week

The Australia attack have never been reluctant to turn up the psychological heat on an England captain or danger-man during recent Test series between the two rivals.

Glenn McGrath often came out on top in his personal battle with former skipper Michael Atherton and the retired seamer thinks Australia should focus on Strauss this time around.

And Johnson has made no secret of his intentions to go after the left-handed opener, who he believes can be susceptible to a well-placed short ball.

"England really look up to their captain Andrew Strauss, and he is someone we need to target," Johnson said.

"If we can get him to crumble then their players start thinking the same thing and thinking negatively, and so that is someone we will definitely be going after.

"For me personally, being an aggressive bowler, we had a look at a bit of footage of him under the short ball.

Aggression

"He can play one that is about chest height but if you get it right on the money, he really does struggle a bit. You have got to get your bouncer high to him. Just be an aggressive bowler at him."

Johnson and Pietersen exchanged jibes in the build-up to the 2009 Ashes series in England and the left-armer expects another clash in Australia.

He added: "He's a very fiery player - it's his nature. We've got a bit of history and that will probably continue through this series.

"Sometimes he wants you to go hard at him and give him a little bit. I think that's what he feeds off."

Johnson's bowling has been blighted by inconsistency throughout his Test career and he produced a typically up-and-down performance in England last summer.

But the 29-year-old now believes he can become a constant threat after taking more responsibility as a leading bowler for Australia.

"Sometimes there is too big a difference between my best and worst. But now I am mentally stronger. I am taking responsibility as a leader. That has helped my focus.

"I am probably my worst critic. I am always trying to bowl a perfect ball."

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