Having escaped International Cricket Council punishment for the confrontations that occurred on the fourth evening in Adelaide, Mitchell Johnson returns to the wild west determined to continue his intimidation of England's batsmen in the third Test.
Johnson and England all-rounder Ben Stokes were charged by the umpires for making deliberate physical contact during the ill-tempered last session on Sunday, but the charges were dismissed by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe.
Both players attended a hearing and contested the charges.
Australia's Mitchell Johnson (left) and England's Ben Stokes collided as Stokes was running between wickets during the fourth day's play. Photo: Reuters
No action was taken over altercations involving Michael Clarke, Stuart Broad and Matt Prior during England's second innings.
Johnson and Broad exchanged heated words as the teams left the field on Sunday with Australia needing just four wickets for victory.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann indicated Australia would not retreat from its aggressive posture and continue to leave it to the ICC to set the boundaries. It is believed the behaviour late on day four was deemed ''marginal'' but not worthy of reports.
Cool: Mitchell Johnson and Ben Stokes of England at the end of the match. Photo: Getty Images
''[At the] end of the day, if something happens, ICC [will] deal with it,'' Lehmann said. ''What I do want to do is just keep playing the way we're playing. The game of cricket is a tough game and Test match cricket is tough, so that's the way it is at the moment.''
Johnson has flourished under Clarke and Lehmann, who give him a licence to bowl fast in short, nasty spells. Under Ricky Ponting's captaincy he was sometimes used as a first change bowler when he couldn't control the new ball.
''I'm bowling in short spells, which is what Michael has wanted me to do. Having that intimidation factor is a bonus,'' Johnson said after taking eight wickets on a flat pitch in Adelaide.
Australia's paceman Mitchell Johnson (right) and England's batsman Ben Stokes exchanged words as well as bumps. Photo: AFP
''It wasn't quite there in the last couple of Ashes series for me, so it's good to be able to back my ability and know what I want to bowl. It's a short turnaround [before the third Test] but we're going to a ground I really do enjoy bowling at.''
Johnson took 12 wickets in a match against South Africa at the WACA Ground in 2008, and destroyed England with 6-38 there in 2010.
''He's been impressive, he's confident,'' Lehmann said. ''Our challenge is to keep him going and bowling that way. It's hard to prepare for someone like that.''
Australia's paceman Ryan Harris (left), wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (second right) and Shane Watson (right) celebrate the dismissal of England's batsman Ben Stokes shortly after his contentious clash with Johnson. Photo: AFP
They said it
"We have had a big hit, but if we believe the Ashes have gone, they might as well have. We need to look deep into ourselves, find our inner soul. It"s a bit like football. The next goal is vital." - England captain Alastair Cook
"I know where I am going as a cricketer ... it's all about not getting too far ahead of yourself." - Man-of-the-match (again) Mitchell Johnson
"We started to turn it around after Lord's, the way we played and the brand of cricket we were trying to play. So the consistency is there over the first two Test matches. We"re starting to bat a lot better." - Australia coach Darren Lehmann
"In our opinion it's not a fluke that we've won the first two Test matches. This just hasn't been a five-second turnaround. It's the hard work that we've put in. I think we've prioritised and been very realistic with where we sit as a team and don't accept being ranked fifth in Test cricket." - Australia captain Michael Clarke
"Mitch Johnson has done an amazing job. But it hasn't just been Mitchell Johnson who has turned this team around. It has been hard work from every single player in our squad over a long period of time that is giving us the results we rightly deserve." - Clarke again
"I need to score more runs. We all do. But there are only so many times you can tell the lads to do it, and if you're not doing it, it makes it harder." - Cook again
"Had they planned it all by keeping Johnson tethered in a dark cave feeding him raw meat and allowing him occasional sniffs of Root's England cap, then they deserve to be lauded. But from here there is a strong whiff of happenstance ..." - Derek Pringle
"Look, there is no chance of us retaining the Ashes. Not a cat in hell's chance. What they have to work out is how they are going to get some pride back in the team." - Geoffrey Boycott