Johnson looking forward to bowl at first-change in Wellington Test

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Wellington, Mar.18 (ANI): Left arm Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson says that he is looking forward to bowling first change in the first test against New Zealand to be played at Wellington's Basin Reserve cricket ground from Friday.

While the Queensland-born Western Australia quick is hoping for a 2-0 sweep for Australia in the upcoming Test series, he's already looking ahead to next summer's Ashes.

"I would like to redeem myself from the Ashes series and do really well there. I don't think I did badly in that last Test series. I had one really bad game and one or two okay games. You are going to have those little spikes in your career. I'm pretty keen for us to do it in Australia (win back the Ashes). We'll have our own crowds to back us and support us.I do look forward to it," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Johnson, as saying.

His skipper, Ricky Ponting, says that Johnson wants to lead the pace attack again, but says he has told his star pace bowler his best role for the team is at first-change.

Ponting was thrilled with the contribution of Johnson (12 wickets at 18.33) in last week's one-day international series against New Zealand.

"He has bowled as well in this (ODI) series as I think I've seen him bowl. His skills are just spot-on at the moment. Most of the time Mitch's first ball has been right on the money and he has continued with that pretty much through his entire spell. He has picked up important wickets for us in most games," Ponting said.

Ponting said he'd had a "good chat" with Johnson about his role in the side. The ICC Cricketer of the Year lost his way at times during the 2009 Ashes series, battling personal dramas and also concerns over trying to swing the new ball.

"He's always wanting obviously to take the new ball, whether it be in Test cricket or one-day cricket. But I had a good chat to him about how I think he fits into our team make-up, how the team needs him to be in that first-change role," Ponting said. (ANI)

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