Bad weather that washed out the third one-day game against England did not dampen Mitchell Johnson's push for an Ashes recall. Photo: Getty Images
Wet weather has slowed Australia's momentum in the one-day series against England but Mitchell Johnson's push for an Ashes recall continues to gather pace.
The left-arm fast bowler turned in another impressive, albeit brief, performance before the third match of the series at Edgbaston was abandoned due to rain on Wednesday night.
While there was plenty of cricket still to be played, England were in early trouble at 3-59 when played was stopped, thanks in no small part to another dangerous spell from Johnson.
The 31-year-old paceman again bowled with fierce pace and movement in taking 1-20 from five overs and he was unlucky not at add another wicket, terrorising Jonathan Trott and narrowly missing him lbw in two close review decisions.
The performance prompted Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to declare Johnson was stinging his gloves at a level comparable to James Pattinson and former Test quicks Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.
"It's one of the quickest I've probably kept to for a little while now," Wade said.
"His rhythm is amazing but more importantly his accuracy is second to none at the moment.
"He's swinging the ball nicely and hitting the stumps enough.
"He was probably unlucky not to get Trott tonight.
"One of our big things is to take early wickets and Mitch is getting it done for us at the moment."
After being overlooked for the Ashes in England, Johnson feels he's bowling as well as ever having fully recovered from a serious toe injury that required surgery in late 2011.
He's impressed in virtually all of Australia's limited overs games in the UK, taking 2-36 from 10 overs in an 88-run win over England in Manchester and 4-36 in the one-off game against Scotland in Edinburgh.
A back injury to Mitchell Starc has further depleted Australia's Test pace bowling stocks and Wade joined a chorus of support for Johnson to be recalled in the return Ashes series in Australia this summer.
"If you were picking the team tomorrow, I'm sure he'd be in it because we haven't got a lot of fast bowlers that are available," Wade said.
"If he bowls like this, he'll definitely be in the mix for the first Test come the Ashes for sure.
"He can only keep doing what he's doing now and the other stuff will take care of itself.
"I would say if he was bowling like he is now, he'd be right in contention."
Wednesday's non-result means Australia hold a 1-0 lead in the series with two games to play, in Cardiff on Saturday and Southampton on Monday.