Demon Mitchell Johnson returns to English nightmares
Pace demon Mitchell Johnson reopened old mental scars as Australia morally seized the Ashes lead with their thumping series-levelling victory over England at Lord's, Australia's media said Monday as they revelled in the win.
Johnson led Australia's dominant bowling attack as Michael Clarke's team thrashed England by 405 runs to win the second Test on Sunday to level the five-match series at 1-1.
Left-arm paceman Johnson took three for 27 as England were routed for 103 in a mere 37 overs after tea on the fourth day.
Amid a swag of individual high points, pundits singled out Johnson for his destructive bowling to give the Aussies the momentum heading into the third Test of the series at Edgbaston, starting on July 29.
"Mitchell Johnson spoke of reopening England's old 'scars' from the Ashes of 2013-14," wrote The Australian's Gideon Haigh.
"He was underselling himself and his colleagues. Over the last four days, the scars they've left have been of a new and vivid hue."
The Daily Telegraph joined in on the theme: "Mitchell Johnson has ripped England's mental scars wide open again, as a rampant Australia inflicted one of the most comprehensive Ashes victories of all time to square the series at Lord's."
The Melbourne Age's Greg Baum said that while the massive win levelled the series after losing the opening Test in Cardiff, in effect Australia were the "moral" leaders.
"This was the sort of thumping that is worth one-and-a-half wins, and morally gives Australia the series lead," he said.
"In Cardiff, the sense was that Australia knew what they had to do about England, but didn't do it. Here, England gave the impression that they did not know what to do about Australia, and still don't."
The 405-run victory margin at Lord's was the biggest by runs in an Ashes match since 1948, and the fourth biggest of all time.
"From the 169-run loss in Cardiff to the blood bath at Lord's, it was the biggest turnaround in Ashes history," the Daily Telegraph said.
The Sydney Morning Herald said the demolition, a stunning turnaround from their defeat inside four days in Cardiff, leaves the momentum firmly with Australia with a short break before the third Test.
"The only two occasions England have lost an Ashes Test by more runs was when Don Bradman was playing for Australia," it pointed out.
"Defying the attempts to stunt his impact in this northern summer with the production of dull pitches Johnson was at his devastating best as England, as if transported back to their summer in Australia 18 months ago, folded in their second innings."
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