x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Johnson's pace has the Kiwis struggling

The New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch concedes his side have been "outplayed" by Australia in the second Test in Hamilton.

Mitchell Johnson is congratulated by captain Ricky Ponting on the wicket of Ross Taylor during day four at Seddon Park.
Mitchell Johnson is congratulated by captain Ricky Ponting on the wicket of Ross Taylor during day four at Seddon Park.

The New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch has conceded his side have been "outplayed" by Australia in the second Test in Hamilton and attributed part of his side's struggles to a lack of mental fortitude. The Black Caps finished the fourth day on 185 for five, still needing a further 294 runs to secure an unlikely win, after struggling to cope with the pace of Mitchell Johnson. Johnson took three for 39 and regularly topped more than 150kph on the radar gun. But as good as the left-armer was New Zealand contributed to their own problems with four batsmen out in the 20s. Afterwards Greatbatch said: "Obviously we're being outplayed by a better side. We've stayed with them for two and a half days and all of a sudden they've put the gas on and we haven't been able to stay with them. "We've got things to work on technically and mentally as well. We got good starts on a good surface and you'd expect two or three of those guys to push on and be not out tonight."

Greatbatch was impressed with Johnson's efforts. "You can't take away from Johnson's spell," he added. "He's a world-class bowler and he went up a few notches. He was hard to play but in Test cricket you've got to do that. "Those are the key moments you've got to get through and we haven't been able to get through to this stage." Johnson said his speed has gradually increased over the years as he has learned more about his body and its restrictions. "In the last couple of years I have lifted my pace a little bit," he said. "I think that's due to knowing my body a little bit better. "On those kind of wickets I'm just trying to run in and hit it as hard as I can to get that variable bounce.

"As you saw there were a few shorter ones that didn't really get up so that puts it in the back of their minds, especially if you can bowl at that pace." Johnson admitted it was nice to be able to look at the big screen at the ground and see how fast his deliveries had been. "I think most fast bowlers do, you want to sort of see where you're at. If you think you've bowled a quicker ball you always have a bit of a look up, it's always nice to see when the ball is over 150 (kph)," he said. * PA Sport

Australia 231 & (overnight 333-4): Michael Clarke lbw Arnel 63 Marcus North c McCullum b Vettori 90 Brad Haddin b Patel 48 Mitchell Johnson c Patel b Vettori 0 Nathan Hauritz not out 41 Ryan Harris not out 18 Extras (2b, 1lb, 4nb) 7 Total (for 8 wickets decl, 153overs) 511 Fall of wickets: 5-389, 6-443, 7-443, 8-453 Bowling Chris Martin 14-1-60-0 Tim Southee 23-4-89-2 Brent Arnel 26-6-77-3 Daniel Vettori 48-10-140-2 Jeetan Patel 39-8-141-1 Matt Sinclair 3-2-1-0 New Zealand (target 479): Bradford Watling c Haddin b Johnson 24 Tim McIntosh b Johnson 19 Matt Sinclair lbw Clarke 29 Ross Taylor c Haddin b Johnson 22 Martin Guptill not out 29 Daniel Vettori lbw Hauritz 22 Brendon McCullum not out 19 Extras (12b, 9b) 21 Total (for 5 wickets, 62 overs) 185 Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-53, 3-107, 4-119, 5-152 Bowling Doug Bollinger 10-2-30-0 Ryan Harris 10-2-30-0 Shane Watson 6-2-18-0 Mitchell Johnson 11-2-39-3 Michael Clarke 13-3-25-1 Nathan Hauritz 10-2-22-1 Marcus North 2-2-0-0