Hayden inspired me to work harder: Johnson

Former opener Matthew Hayden’s work ethics rubbed off on him and inspired him to work harder during his fledgling days with the Australian Test team, said left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson on Wednesday.

Mumbai: Australian fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson with with former Cricket Australia strength and conditioning coordinator Jock Campbell during the announcement of a future project 'Bowlfit' in Mumbai.   -  PTI

Mitchell Johnson has admitted that he was initially lazy to put in the extra yards in training, but after watching Mathew Hayden extend his net-session immediately after a three-hour stint, his perception of workout and practice changed.

The Australian left-arm fast bowler, who unveiled the ‘Bowlfit’ app along with Jock Campbell (former head strength and conditioning coach/ physical performance manager for the Australian team) on Tuesday, revealed what changed his attitude towards training.

 “When I was playing for Queensland, we had completed a net session of three hours...it’s humid like Mumbai. I was stretching and watched Hayden walk from one net to the end-net, which had a bowling machine, and he began hitting ball after ball. It made me think...what is he doing? We just had a massive training session and why is he hitting more balls, which do not make sense to me.

“After some time, it clicked. He plays for Australia and I found out that he was doing some extra running and training as well. That opened my eyes and made me think that if I want to play for Australia, I have to do that extra stuff.”

The 35-year-old, part of the Mumbai Indians team, felt that there is a big change in the fitness levels of fast bowlers.

 “The Australian people like to see fast bowling. When I first came to the MRF Pace Foundation at the age of 19, I worked with Dennis Lillee. That was the time I saw fast bowlers going to gyms. I have noticed an improvement in the physique of fast bowlers in the last 2-4 years; it is unbelievable, the elite ones have amazing physique and look good. It actually works because they are doing the right thing. I was speaking to Shane Watson and he said the same thing; they work hard and want to improve. They want to get better.”

“Having the knowledge after being involved in the Australian team, I have been able to work for 300 videos in the app. Now I have to get into some consultancy/teaching role as I realise I have some knowledge. Over 300 videos is a lot of stuff on how to bowl slower balls, a swing ball, a bouncer...my favourite ball. If you are playing professionally, you need to get your body right. It doesn’t matter at which level you are playing.”

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