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Indian conditions a huge challenge: Mitchell Johnson

Last updated on: September 23, 2010 08:38 IST

'Indian conditions a huge challenge'

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Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson feels that playing India on their soil is always a "huge challenge" irrespective of whether the hosts are at the top or bottom of the ICC rankings.

"I don't think about rankings too much. Coming and playing here (in India) itself is a challenge.

"Players like (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Rahul) Dravid and (Virender) Sehwag lend depth to the batting department while their bowling attack, which has Harbhajan Singh, is also great," said Johnson, in Chandigarh on Wednesday.


Image: Mitchell Johnson
Photographs: Reuters
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'Rankings don't matter'

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Asked if India, being the hosts and No 1 Test team in the world, will hold a psychological advantage over the visitors in the two-Test series, which starts in Mohali October 1, Johnson replied, "It's huge challenge and the rankings don't matter."

In the presence of quite a few young pacers -- like Peter George, James Pattinson and Mitchell Strac in the Australian team, Johnson said, he would love to take up the leadership role and help the young quickies by giving useful tips during training sessions.

"This is something I enjoy and I have spoken to the coaches also," he said, adding the young bowling attack will learn a lot during the current tour.


Image: Mitchell Johnson at a practice session in Chandigarh on Wednesday

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'The team wants to win the two Tests'

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Seen as a build-up to the Ashes and next year's World Cup in the Indian sub-continent, the tour holds significance for the Aussies, but Johnson exuded optimism and said that his team wants to win the series.

"The Indian conditions, with low bounce, the heat and the humidity, are challenging for a fast bowler but I can vouch that the team wants to win the two Tests," Johnson said.


Image: Mitchell Johnson

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'Players must be rested in certain periods of time'

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Asked about the increasing number of injuries players suffer these days due to too much cricket, Johnson said, "Players are playing in all forms (Tests, ODIs and T20s).

"Teams have got to make sure that they rest their players in certain periods of time."

Expressing satisfaction with security arrangements here, Johnson said, "I feel safe and we are happy with the arrangements."

The visitors, led by skipper Ricky Ponting, did some running and stretching exercises at the Sector 16 stadium where they are scheduled to play a three-day warm-up match against a Gautam Gambhir-led Board President's XI from September 25.

The players had to restrict themselves to the gymnasium as heavy overnight rain had left the outfield wet.


Image: Australia captain Ricky Ponting goes through a drill during practice in Chandigarh

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