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    Default Ponting labels Johnson as world's best pacer

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    Skipper Ricky Ponting has hailed Mitchell Johnson as the best fast bowler in the world after the speedster's clinical performances saw Australia clinch the first Test against Pakistan at the MCG.

    Johnson, who claimed six wickets at the MCG, has notched up a tally of 63 Test wickets for the year at a creditable strike rate of 27.42.

    The 28-year-old left-armer has claimed 17 wickets more than Stuart Broad of England who is second most successful pacer in Test cricket this year - a fact which has prompted Ponting to shower effusive praise on Johnson.

    ''Well, he's got the most wickets for the year, hasn't he, in Test cricket?'' Ponting said.

    ''Right at the moment, he's doing everything spot-on,'' he added.

    Johnson has been the pace spearhead for Australia alongwith Brett Lee for most of his career. But he has been playing a slightly different role of late and has been coming on as first change behind Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger.

    However, Ponting feels that the change has proved to be a positive one for Johnson.

    ''I honestly feel one of the big things for Mitch is the fact he's not bowling with the new ball.

    ''We've seen at different times how dangerous and damaging he can be with the new ball, but I think we've seen here in conditions where the old ball does a little bit as well, that's when he's at his most effective,'' Ponting was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Telegraph'.

    ''I spoke to him in India in the one-day series about that fact, that he fits in our team best as that first-change bowler and he's proven in this game here that with an old ball he's dangerous.

    ''He'll continue to change things, he'll continue trying to work on becoming a very good new-ball bowler as well,'' he added.

    ''If he's working hard on that there's no reason down the track why he can't become that. But his record at first change has been great for us.''



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