Ponting backs Johnson for Australi Test job

Published: Monday, October 22, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: Left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson has advanced his claims for a place in Australia's Test team, captain Ricky Ponting said today.

Johnson was Australia's leading bowler in the recent one-day series in India and is likely to join Brett Lee and Stuart Clark in a three-pronged pace attack for the first Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane starting on November 8.

''Mitchell Johnson has come along in leaps and bounds,'' Ponting told reporters after arriving home in Sydney from India.

''When we've got young fast bowlers like him it just takes them a few breakout performances to really feel part of the team.

''He's had a good solid run at it and we've all seen over the last few weeks just how much potential he has got.

''He's done everything right as far as putting his name up in front of the selectors.'' Johnson has played 25 one-day internationals, taking 40 wickets at an average of 24.62, and the retirement of Glenn McGrath has created a vacancy in the Test team's seam bowling department.

''The way Mitchell Johnson bowled in India, he's definitely put his hand up,'' said McGrath, who announced today that he will play a one-off Twenty20 game for New South Wales in January.

Fast bowler Shaun Tait is also in the running to earn a Test recall after proving his return to fitness following elbow surgery.


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