Johnson to get nod for third Test

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Warwickshire (UK), July 29 (ANI): Struggling Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson is likely to play in the third Ashes Test that gets underway at the Edgbaston cricket ground here from Thursday.

Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke believes that Johnson is back to top form after the visitors won their match against Northamptonshire.

Clarke has also dismissed suggestions that being dropped could be a blessing in disguise for the wayward Johnson, who has struggled with line throughout the first two Tests.

According to The Sun, if there are changes to the side, it is now more likely that Peter Siddle will be in the firing line, with Stuart Clark marching towards reinstatement.

All-rounder Shane Watson appears to be Marcus North's biggest threat for the No.6 role, although that change is less likely, given North's first-Test century in an Ashes series.

''I definitely spoke to [Johnson] about how he's feeling and bowling, he still has a lot of positives to come out, he still feels he's bowling good pace,'' Clarke said.

''I don't think Mitch is bothered about the runs he went for, he is certainly taking some positives out of that last game,'' he added.

Johnson was far more lively during practice on Tuesday than the previous day, when he wore a gloomy expression during a brief chat with team management before leaving after 10 minutes.

He bowled with express pace in the nets to captain Ricky Ponting and openers Simon Katich and Phillip Hughes, still misplacing his deliveries at times but developing a solid rhythm and occasionally beating the bat.

Clarke said spin would also play a role in the match, increasing the chances of Hauritz retaining his spot. (ANI)

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