England Cricket: Ballance downplays Johnson return

Gary Ballance England batsman cricket

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England batsman Gary Ballance has played down the impact a returning Mitchell Johnson will make for Australia when the two sides go toe-to-toe once again in the second one-day international in Brisbane.

Johnson, who was the man of the Ashes series and the constant thorn in England’s side during the Test campaign, was given time to rest during the opening ODI, which saw the hosts win by six wickets.

The paceman’s pure speed and accuracy helped him take an impressive 37 wickets during the Ashes and the confident bowler is hoping for more of the same in Brisbane for the clash on Friday, with the Aussies at 1.350 to make it 2-0 in the ODI series.

However, England’s Ballance is not too concerned with the return of Johnson and feels the tourists, who are 3.270 to level the series, have what it takes to get the upper hand on the Baggy Greens’ star.

The Yorkshire batsman said: “We are going to work on it (Johnson’s pace). He’s had a good Test series but we are ready to face him and the rest of their bowlers.

“He bowls at a decent pace, but I felt like I could handle it all right.

“I think most of the guys have faced him, back home in the one-day series and then in the Test series.

“Everyone will expect what’s coming.”

Ballance was the highest scorer for England with 79 in the first ODI and will be hoping to produce more of the same in Brisbane against a bowling attack including the in-form Johnson.

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