There are some scars there - Johnson piles pressure on England pre-Ashes

The manner of England's defeat to South Africa will give Australia huge confidence ahead of the Ashes, says Mitchell Johnson.

England's Joe Root will be carrying scars from the past ahead of its Ashes tour according to former Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson.   -  Getty Images

Mitchell Johnson believes Australia will be relishing the chance to take on an "inconsistent" England, who which is reeling from a thrashing at the hands of South Africa.

After a convincing 211-run win in Joe Root's first Test as captain, England was brought back to down earth with a bump at Trent Bridge as the Proteas responded with an even more emphatic 340-run triumph.

With the likes of Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance struggling at the top of the order, there are concerns for England ahead of the Ashes series, which gets under way in late November.

And former paceman Johnson - whose 37 wickets at less than 14 earned him the Man of the Series award in the 5-0 whitewash in 2013-14 - says the manner of England's defeat in Nottingham will have the squad reeling, just four months out from renewing rivalries with its old foes.

"They've got a few issues coming to Australia. Australia are a huge chance," Johnson told reporters.

"[England] probably haven't got that consistency at the moment; they've changed their team a little bit so they're trying to find the right squad.

"It's getting close to an Ashes series so you want to try and lock that in, and it's going to be hard for them now because they've just been beaten.

"It'll be a great series but there are some scars there as well."

The form of Ballance, recalled to the Test side after a mountain of runs to start the season with Yorkshire, has been a huge talking point, although the left-hander will miss the third Test with a fractured finger after scores of 20, 34, 27 and 4 against South Africa.

"When you're a number three you're meant to be one of the best players in the team, if not the best. I don't think he is," Johnson added.

"If you're a bowler and you see Gary Ballance at number three you actually get a lot of confidence from that, so I think Australia will have a lot of confidence."


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