Melbourne: Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson's skills with the bat has earned him appreciation from former batsman Mark Waugh, who feels the left-armer has the potential to emulate great all-rounders like India's Kapil Dev and England's Ian Botham.
"He has got the ability to bat at six and play a role like Ian Botham or a Kapil Dev," Waugh was quoted as saying by Sunday Telegraph.
After a successful summer at home, Johnson proved his worth in the ongoing first Test in Johannesburg, scoring an unbeaten 96 against South Africa, which had former players saying that Australia's search for an all-rounder is finally over.
The left-hander blasted two fours and three sixes in a Paul Harris over, scoring 26 off and then scalped 4 for 25 from 18.1 overs, including the precious wicket of Proteas captain Graeme Smith in his first over.
Former players heaped praise on the lanky bowler and hoped that more such innings were in store.
"That 96 was an outstanding knock. I'm sure there's more than one three-figure score just around the corner," said former seamer Jason Gillespie, who hit an unbeaten 201 against Bangladesh in his final Test in 2006.
Former skipper Mark Taylor feels Johnson's cool and composed nature and his ability as a hard-hitter along with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin contribution have benefited Australia immensely.
"Along with someone like Brad Haddin, between the two of them we're forming that all-rounder spot," Taylor said.