Abu Dhabi: The failure of their batsmen was more than made up for by their bowlers in the low-scoring win over Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson says it has proved that his side is the most balanced in the ongoing IPL.
"I remember sitting around with the Australian team on our tour to South Africa, watching the IPL auction. When it came to an end, I actually said that this seems like a very well-balanced and all-round side," Johnson told the IPL's official website. (Also read: Skipper George Bailey lauds bowlers after win against KKR)
"It seems to be going on that way for us at the moment. We've had some very good wins and tonight's was one of the better ones. On that Abu Dhabi wicket, I think we pretty much got a par score and it was always going to be tough batting second on it. We've been sticking to our guns and have been going really well," he said.
Johnson, who was in top form during the Ashes last year, has been a slow-starter in the IPL but rediscovered some of the touch in Saturday's match by grabbing a couple of wickets. (Match in pics)
"Yes, I've started the tournament quite slowly, coming back from my toe infection and it has taken me a few games to get into it. Probably the best I felt with my bowling was during the training yesterday; I felt like I am in my cricket mode again...That's where I wanted to get to - bowling as aggressively as I was a few days ago," he said.
Asked if he has undertaken a leadership role being the most successful international bowler in KXIP, Johnson said he does try to reach out to the younger bowlers of the side.
"Yes, that is something I had thought about doing before coming here and I spoke to the team about taking up that role as a senior international player. These young guys coming through are willing to learn and are very good listeners. I remember what I was like when I was their age - you look up to the senior guys for a bit of advice.
"Sandeep (Sharma) went for a couple of boundaries in his last over (18th of the innings) and I told him, 'Just keep sticking to your guns' because that's how you learn to overcome situations. If I can keep helping the young guys, we will keep winning like this," he said.
On how he uses the bouncer in the T20 format, Johnson said one has to be careful. "Since you are allowed only one bouncer per over in the T20s, you have to be careful. I still try to use it to get the batsmen thinking on their feet and let them know they're not going to always get balls on the half. It's more about mind games in the T20 format," he explained.
"Overall, you can still bowl a good short ball at the ribs and get the desired result. Guys will go for more attacking shots off short balls in this format and that makes it an interesting delivery to bowl. It makes the contest between the bat and the ball more enjoyable," he signed off.