Break did me good - Johnson
Mitchell Johnson admits he may have benefited from missing the second Ashes Test at Adelaide after his stunning six-wicket haul helped Australia into a position of strength in the third Test at the WACA.
The left-arm seamer claimed four wickets for seven runs in the morning session and finished with outstanding figures of 6-38 as England collapsed from 78 without loss to 187 all out on day two.
Australia had reached 119 for three, a lead of 200, in their second innings by the time stumps were drawn with Shane Watson unbeaten on 61 and Mike Hussey on 24.
Johnson appeared a shadow of his former self in the series opener at Brisbane as he failed to take a wicket for the first time in his Test career.
However, the decision to rest the 29-year-old for the second Test appears to have paid off after he returned to form in stunning fashion today.
“I was obviously disappointed (to miss out in Adelaide),” said Johnson. “You don’t want to miss a Test match for your country but I think it has worked in my favour at this stage.
“I got to work on a few things and get the confidence back, and coming here I worked really well with the other bowlers who did an exceptional job.”
Johnson had the in-form Alastair Cook caught at gully in his fourth over this morning before trapping Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood lbw.
Ian Bell led England’s recovery with a fluent half-century, but, after he fell to Ryan Harris, Johnson returned to clean up the tail.
“There was a bit of extra bounce and extra pace there,” the paceman explained. “On the first morning it was probably a touch slow, but it has quickened up now and I think the fast bowlers are enjoying it.
“I have been working on getting my momentum forward and hopefully getting the ball to swing, and it did today.
“One thing that is key for me is getting my momentum going forward to the crease. In Brisbane I was getting off the wicket very quickly and my momentum was heading off towards square-leg.
"Today I was just trying to get that momentum forward and what I’ve been working on in the nets was that, so it worked for me today.”
Johnson played down the fired-up celebrations that followed his dismissal of Trott, one of several heated moments on day two.
“I was a bit emotional at the time,” he added.
“There have been a few things said around the traps and I let the emotions get out, but in the end I got six wickets and that was the main thing, to do a job for Australia.
“When we’ve got that bit of fire about us, we do play very well.
“That’s what we’ve tried to do here - get really involved in the match, but not overstep the line.
“I was disappointed not to help out in Brisbane and to do it here, I am very excited.”