Hayden inspired Johnson to work harder

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Hayden inspired Johnson to work harder

Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) 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 today.

“I remember Matthew Hayden, when I was playing for Queensland. We were in the net session for three hours. It was humid like Mumbai. (After the net session), I was stretching and I watched Hayden walk to the end (of) nets, which had a bowling machine, and hitting ball after ball,” recalled Johnson at a promotional event here.

“It made me think ‘what is he (Hayden) doing. We just had a massive training session, (so) why is he hitting more balls.’ That did not make sense to me, (but) after some time it clicked that he plays for Australia. And I found out that he was doing extra running and extra training session as well.

“That really opened my eyes and made me think, (if) I wanna (want to) play for Australia, you are going to do that extra stuff,” recalled Johnson, who ended his Test career with a haul of 313 wickets from 73 matches.

Johnson, who is playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), termed the entire scene featuring Hayden as a “real eye opener”.

The former Australia pace spearhead also felt that the physique of Indian bowlers, in general, has improved in the last few years.

“I have noticed an improvement in physique of (Indian) fast bowlers in the last 2-4 years. It is unbelievable. The elite ones have amazing physique and they look good. It actually works because they are doing the right thing.” Johnson has made videos on how to bowl slower balls, yorkers, bouncers, among others, which have been uploaded on the “BowlFit app”, which he is promoting.

“All the stuff that is there (in the app), is the one I do, the stuff that I have done in my career. I had some knowledge. Over 300 videos are there in the app. A lot of stuff about how to bowl slower balls, bowling a swing ball, how to bowl a bouncer. That was my favourite ball,” he said.

Johnson and ex-head of physical performance of Australian team, Jock Campbell, have developed fitness videos, types of exercises needed to be followed by fast bowlers, which will be available on the app.

The 35-year-old speedster said the app was useful, especially for those in the age group of 14-20 years when they are at the learning stage.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.