Anti-Johnson attitude by Kiwi crowd "spurred him on": Ponting

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Auckland, Mar 7(ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting insists status of fast bowler Mitchell Johnson as the public enemy in New Zealand, following his spat with Kiwi all-rounder Scott Styris in the opening game, had "spurred him on".ohnson was booed by the 14,000-strong crowd every time he was involved in the play, but took the crucial wicket of Brendon McCullum and Australia were on their way to levelling the series at one apiece.

The 28-year-old ran amok with the ball, taking a match-winning 4-51 off nine overs in the tourists' 12-run victory under the Duckworth-Lewis system.

"If his by-play with the crowd affected the way he played, I'd be worried, but it spurred him on," Australian captain Ricky Ponting said.

"Sometimes you've just got to try to have a bit of fun with the crowd. As much as they're giving it to you, you're the worst person in the world to them, but you've got to try to have fun with it otherwise it's going to be a long four or five weeks over here."

"There were chants going around the ground but Mitch came back with wickets for us. That was a good result for him and the team," he added.

When asked if the crowd's anti-Johnson attitude had benefited Australia, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said: "I'd just be speculating. You get yourself in trouble when you're speculating." (ANI)

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