Ponting: Mitch will be ready
Australia captain Ricky Ponting expects Mitchell Johnson to regain his best form in the Ashes.
Last Updated: 15/11/10 5:43pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has brushed off concerns over the form of his strike bowler Mitchell Johnson.
Johnson has been included in an enlarged 17-man squad for the Ashes opener in Brisbane, starting on November 25, despite struggling for form since the start of the domestic season.
But Ponting remains convinced the left-arm paceman will be a key figure in the his side's attempt to reclaim the urn they lost with a 2-1 defeat in England last year.
"I'm not concerned about Mitchell's form at all, we know what we're going to get with Mitchell, he's always been a wicket-taking striking sort of bowler, and that's the way we need to use him during the Ashes series," said Ponting.
"He's never been one that I've expected to run in and bowl line and length all day, that's not what Mitchell does. I'm not that concerned about him. I'm sure he's looking forward to next week as well."
Australia's selection panel, chaired by Andrew Hilditch, plan to trim the squad down to 12 or 13 players prior to their arrival at the Gabba.
The only real eyebrow-raising inclusion was Tasmania's Xavier Doherty as one of three spin options alongside New South Wales pair Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith.
"Things can happen very quickly, I guess," said Doherty, who took four wickets on his one-day international debut earlier in November but has yet to play a Test.
"[It] wasn't that long ago I wasn't even carrying the drinks for Tassie. I guess it's come as a shock, a nice shock to get."