‘Mentor’ Dennis Lillee backs ‘revived’ Johnson for Ashes 2013 glory

Dennis Lillee

Australia legend Dennis Lillee believes Mitchell Johnson would play a vital role in the Test team for next year's Ashes after making a come back in the national team during the ongoing Perth Test against South Afria.

Lillee broke his silence on his mentoring of Johnson on Saturday, saying he had implored the 31-year-old to radically alter his game and bowl smarter and more accurately.

While there are an array of options for selectors to consider ahead of next winter''s tour of England the likes of Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins and Mitchell Starc will all be in the selection queue, but Lillee believes Johnson can play a key role.

"He''s finally decided that he''s going to that second phase as a fast bowler and that''s one that he''s not going to blast guys out," the Age quoted Lillee, as saying to an Australian radio.

"He''s going to bowl some variety, he''s going to concentrate on a really good line and length and sort of play that support role a bit more," he added.

"I thought the way he''s bowled so far in (the Sheffield) Shield and the way he bowled in this Test is an indication that he''s on song with all that, and he''s happy in his mind about that," he said.

Lillee added: "You haven''t seen any of the balls going wide of off stump, wide of leg stump. There is some technical work we''ve done with him but it''s also about him being convinced he''s going to that second phase."

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