When will Johnson be on?
Australia are slight favourites going into the second Test match with odds of 3.7 offered for their win.
Andy Morris ponders Mitchell Johnson's fate.
Despite the kind of bowling dished out by Mitchell Johnson in the first Ashes Test match at Brisbane, he has received support from both coach Tim Nielsen and former selector Merv Hughes.
Nielsen said that it was their job to get Johnson back to his best, while Hughes pointed out that none of the Australian bowlers had done a good job and so targeting Johnson was unfair.
Johnson had gone wicket-less in the entire Test match, a first for the left-arm pace bowler. With nothing in the track to assist him, Johnson had ended with match figures of 0/170, his worst ever in his career.
Interestingly, to make matters worse for Johnson, he was also dismissed for a 19-ball duck and dropped a catch in the outfield.
It was clearly a Test match to forget.
However, the current crop of selectors seemed to be growing a tad weary of Johnson's performances under pressure. They have called upon Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris into the 13-member squad, and Ricky Ponting made it even more difficult to predict who will play on Friday in the Adelaide game with his 'no bowler is safe' quote. Earlier, Johnson had failed to overcome his off-field issues during the previous edition of the Ashes and had taken three Test matches before finding his bearings at Headingley, Leeds.
Speaking to the media, Nielsen said, "At different times there have been a lot of players who haven't performed in one Test match and then have come out and upped the ante. That's the challenge of a five-day Test."
Hughes said that while Johnson ended with his worst spell of the career, it was Ben Hilfenhaus who had disappointed him the most. Hilfenhaus, who had had a good tour of India, was expected to lead the attack at Gabba with his ability to get some swing but ended with just one wicket. In fact, he got his lone wicket off the third ball of the game and went wicket-less for the next 50 overs that he bowled.
Three of the five pace bowlers in the squad will play at Adelaide.
Australia are slight favourites going into the second Test match with odds of 3.7 offered for their win. As compared to that, England are at 4.1. However, it is the placid track at Adelaide that puts a draw as the most likely result with odds of 2.02.