WACA pitch ready for Mitchell Johnson heat

JUSTIN CHADWICK
Last updated 07:11 10/12/2013

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If England found it tough going against Mitchell Johnson in Brisbane and Adelaide, they're set to experience a whole new level of pain on what's shaping up to be a bouncy WACA wicket.

Johnson has been in hot form against England this summer, claiming 17 wickets at an average of 12.7 to fire Australia to a 2-0 series lead.

Australia can wrap up the series and reclaim the Ashes with a win in the third Test in Perth, starting on Friday.

Former Test opener Justin Langer, who is now coach of Western Australia, predicts the WACA pitch will offer plenty of assistance to any speedster looking to inflict some damage.

"From what I've seen the last few weeks with the pace and bounce, wicketkeepers have been taking a lot of balls above their head," Langer said.

"That's a great sign of what we love about playing cricket at the WACA."

The past seven Tests at the WACA have all produced results, with Australia winning four of them.

That included a 267-run mauling of England in 2010, when Johnson snared figures of 6-38 and 3-44 in a man-of-the-match performance.

Last month, England were given a sneak peak of what the WACA might offer up for the Test when they played out a draw against a WA Chairman's XI.

In that match, a youthful WA side made scores of 5-451 and 5-168 in reply to England's 391.

Langer said there were rich rewards on offer for both batters and bowlers in Perth - but only if they took a disciplined approach.

"The reason it's such a great place to play cricket is the margin for errors for bowlers and batters is so small," Langer said.

"If you hit what we call the WACA length, it's so hard to play.

"And if you nick it here, it always goes to slips. That doesn't necessarily happen in a lot of places around the world.

"But for the batters, the outfield is like an ice rink, so you get value for shots."

England have a horrible Test record at the WACA, with just one win to show from 12 outings there.

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- AAP

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