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England 'rattled' by sledging - Johnson

Brydon Coverdale
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Johnson believes the Australians have England rattled © Getty Images
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Mitchell Johnson has told England not to expect any let-up in the verbal barrage they will receive from the Australians when the second Test begins in Adelaide next week.

The match referee for the series, Jeff Crowe, is set to speak to both captains, Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook, ahead of the second Test in an effort to ease tensions and remind the players of their on-field responsibilities after the sledging that occurred in the dying stages of Australia's win in Brisbane.

Clarke was fined 20% of his match fee for telling England's James Anderson to "get ready for a broken f***ing arm", a comment that was broadcast by the stump microphone, but no other players faced any such sanctions.

However, commentator Shane Warne later claimed that Clarke was only sticking up for short-leg fieldsman George Bailey, who had been engaged in some verbals with Anderson leading up to Clarke's comment.

"I think it's worked for us. I definitely think they're rattled by it," Johnson, who was Man of the Match at the Gabba for his nine wickets, told reporters in Perth on Wednesday. "They don't like it at all. Obviously their coach has come out and wanted a truce from what I've heard. That's not going to change from our end.

"It was pretty quiet the whole match until sort of closer to the end and we know there's definitely tension there, there always has been. I thought it was really good what Michael did as a captain, that's what you want your captain to do, to stand up for the players and that's what he did.

"It was really exciting to see. It just happened to be that the stump mike was up at that time. There were obviously other things that were said that weren't heard. It was nothing unusual. But I was really happy with how he stood up for the team."

Channel Nine's head of sport, Steve Crawley, offered an apology to Clarke following the broadcasting of his comment to Anderson, saying that the dialogue should not have been broadcast via the stump microphone. Fast bowler Peter Siddle said he expected sledging from both teams to continue as the tour progressed.

"Throughout the series there will be more of it going on but it will be under control," Siddle said. "Anderson brought it on himself. So fair's fair. There was a lot of other stuff going on and James Anderson was in the thick of it and a culprit for it all happening. He is one of the leading wicket-takers in the world so he is happy to have a chirp but as long as Mitchell Johnson keeps bowling them around his ears that will quieten him up pretty quickly."

However, the sledging debate rose to another level when England's Jonathan Trott returned home following the first Test due to a stress-related illness, although the England camp was at pains to say that Trott's departure did not have anything to do with comments from David Warner that Trott's batting had been "pretty poor and pretty weak". Johnson, who has at time struggled under the weight of pressure and expectations, said he had been surprised by the news about Trott.

"It was a real shock for me," Johnson said. "It can be tough at times when it's not going so well. You start to think about every little thing that's going on in your life when you should be focusing on one thing. It seems maybe he's thinking that way at the moment, and just needs to just get away from the game.

"For me, when I had my toe injury, it was great to get away to freshen up mentally. I just wish Trott the best. Hopefully he can come back later in the tour or in the future, because he's a great player for England and he's done exceptionally well."

Australia's players are spending some time in their home cities during the break between Tests, while England prepare to take on a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in a two-day tour match in Alice Springs. The second Test begins at the refurbished Adelaide Oval on Thursday next week.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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