Mitchell Johnson hailed a “special” day as his phenomenal spell with the ball at the Adelaide Oval put Australia in a commanding position in the second Ashes Test.
The 32-year-old took 7-40 - his second-best Test return - as England were skittled out for 172 on day three, with Ian Bell left stranded on 72.
Johnson’s spell involved a triple-wicket maiden and he was on a hat-trick on two separate occasions as his searing pace caused plenty of problems, especially for England’s lower order.
When asked at the end-of-day press conference, the seamer, whose best figures are 8-61, reckoned that the spell was probably the finest one of his career.
He said: “I think so. The ball came out of my hand exactly how I wanted it to. I guess coming into this match ... I was excited about the variable bounce, the reverse swing that Adelaide provides.
“I felt like I was in one of them zones when nothing’s really going on in your mind; I just felt really good.”
Johnson has produced similar spells in the past yet admits he has not always been able to deliver on a regular basis.
But after taking his series wicket tally to 16 in three innings, the Western Australia paceman hopes that he has finally cracked the consistency conundrum.
“To be able to back up a performance like I did in Brisbane is a really nice feeling,” he said.
“I guess there’s been talk in the past that I can have those performances where I can blow a team away and then the next one not turn up so that’s why it was a bit more special today.”
Johnson also received praise from the England fans who were in attendance in Adelaide. He has not always enjoyed the best of relationships with the Barmy Army, who like to remind him of his performances during England’s last tour of Australia, but was pleased that they were able to acknowledge a superb performance.
“When you’re appreciated like that it is very nice,” Johnson admitted. “When we do go over there they do really appreciate good cricket so that’s how they’ve always been and that’s how it should be in world cricket.”