Johnson - Win sets the tone
Mitchell Johnson thinks Australia's six-wicket Twenty20 victory against New Zealand sends out an ominous signal.
Last Updated: 26/02/10 12:11pm
Mitchell Johnson thinks Australia's performance in claiming a six-wicket win in their opening Twenty20 international against New Zealand sends out an ominous signal.
Batting first, the Black Caps succumbed to just 118 all out in their 20 overs as Johnson, Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes took charge - the trio's pace not encountered by the hosts during their recent series against Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Set a target of just 119 runs to win, Australia reached it with 24 balls to spare and Johnson, who finished with 3-19 off his four overs, predicts there will be more of the same during the five-week tour.
"Obviously it's good to have a win first up, especially the way we did it," the left-arm quick said.
"We did pretty well bowling-wise and in the field, even though we dropped a couple of catches, we took some pretty good ones as well. We did pretty well with the bat there as well and hopefully all that will be in their mind for the next game (on Sunday)."
With Tait (2-21) bowling in the mid-150 km/h range and Nannes (2-22) providing swift back-up, Johnson says Australia's pace attack is formidable.
"I guess when we've got a few guys in our side that can bowl 140, 145, 150-plus km/h it probably does make a bit of a difference," he said.
"You don't get an easy run at it. The first, second change can bowl at that pace as well. I definitely think it makes it tougher for their guys. I'm pretty glad we're not facing us."
Beginning of the end
With New Zealand reduced to 54-4 inside 11 overs, it took a 50-run stand between James Franklin and Gareth Hopkins to push them past three figures.
But when Hopkins went for 21 it sparked the beginning of the end and their remaining five wickets fell for just 14 runs.
"We really didn't play to our potential. We didn't score enough runs with the bat," said Franklin, whose knock of 43 was his highest in Twenty20s.
"We were probably 30-40 runs light with the bat and it was always going to be a stiff ask to try and defend that sort of total.
"We had our opportunity with six or seven overs to go to get 150-160. Hopkins and I were going along okay and we just kept on losing wickets in the back end.
"It's disappointing but we know we can perform and compete against these guys."
Franklin thinks New Zealand can give a better performance on the second and final Twenty20 in Christchurch on Sunday.
"We've played guys around the world that have bowled that sort of speed before. It's just working out your own individual game plan against that sort of pace and work out the areas around the park that you can score and back yourself to do that and do a job for the team," he said.
"With Twenty20 it comes down to a few guys in your team doing exceptionally well on the night and unfortunately we didn't have that tonight.
"We know that if we turn up as a group on Sunday hopefully three or four of us really stand up and contribute with match-winning performances."