Ashes Media Making a Meal of Mitchell Johnson Form

Muazzin MehrbanCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2009

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Mitchell Johnson of Australia looks concerned during Day 3 of the International Tour match between Northamptonshire and Australia at The County Ground on July 26, 2009 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Tall, athletic, menacing, and a left arm pacer. How England, along with almost every other cricketing nation, would love to have Mitchell Johnson in their bowling arsenal.

His dip in form this Ashes from the lofty standards he set against South Africa, both home and away, is hard to ignore. Yet the fact that he has better figures than compatriot Peter Siddle in the series so far begs the question of why it is he, Johnson, who is being vilified.

It has appeared to escape the media, in England in particular, that Australia's failure has been the result of average bowling displays across the board, while their new great hope Phil Hughes and Michael "Mr Cricket" Hussey have both failed to make telling contributions with the bat.

Furthermore, Johnson has batted well, a fact that should hold him in better sted when compared to the remainder of the Australian tail. A strike bowler who can regularly smash vital runs late on, is that asking too much?

Even Wasim Akram and talisman Flintoff have failed to live up to those criteria. Furthermore, Johnson is being expected to perform the same feat in his first Ashes having just achieved it not once, but twice against the Saffers.

But the British media know a target when they see one, and in Johnson, they have already sounded out their prey. However, with three tests to go, Johnson has plenty of time to ensure he has the last laugh.

After all, it took Ricky Ponting two years to have his last laugh after the 2005 defeat. And captaining a 5-0 series whitewash, meant it must have been a very hearty laugh at the least.

The grinning Johnson who dismantled Kallis and Co will hit back at some point, with new ball as well as bat.