Clarke backing Johnson

Vice-skipper insists left-arm seamer can bounce back

Last Updated: 01/12/10 1:23pm

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Johnson: Criticised following first Test draw

Johnson: Criticised following first Test draw

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Michael Clarke has played down the absence of fast bowler Mitchell Johnson from Australia's net session on Wednesday.

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Johnson, who finished with figures of 0-170 from the drawn first Test at the Gabba, did not bowl at Adelaide - with selection rivals Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris going through vigorous sessions.

But Clarke insists left-armer Johnson, who has come in for heavy criticism from the Australian press and public, had opted not to bowl in a bid to be fresh for the second Test in Adelaide.

"Mitch is fine. He's had a bat today," Clarke said. "Again he wasn't bowling today, in preparation for the test, to allow his body to have a bit of a rest.

"All of us face criticism throughout our career, sometimes more often than not, especially when you're not scoring as many runs or taking as many wickets as you'd like. But he's faced it before... I'm sure he'll face it again.

Chance

"If he gets his chance (to play in Adelaide), I'm sure he'll grab it with both hands."

Clarke also came in for some criticism after the Brisbane draw as he managed just nine runs from 50 balls.

But he insists that his poor return was not down to his recent back injury, with the Australia vice-captain putting in extra work with Ricky Ponting and coach Tim Nielsen on Wednesday.

"I was just working on a few things and obviously Punter's (Ponting) seen me bat for a long time now through my career and picks things up at training," Clarke added.

"So I was getting him to throw me a few balls and get him to have a look and see what his thoughts were.

"I felt a little bit better, if you saw my net session I struggled at the start there and felt like it got better throughout a pretty long net session, so that was good."

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