Mitchell Johnson bowling against South Africa. Photo: AFP
HARARE Rod Laver did it in tennis, now Australian ace Mitchell Johnson is chasing a cricket grand slam.
The Test spearhead is determined to enhance his reputation as the best fast bowler in the world by proving he can dominate in all conditions, with the end goal of adding another emphatic chapter to his Ashes legacy in the UK next year.
Johnson went to another level last summer, but he knows he can't take the hard and fast pitches of Australia and South Africa with him wherever he goes, starting with next month's tour against Pakistan in the UAE.
England will hardly be rolling out the red carpet next year either for a man who single handedly destroyed them last summer, taking 37 wickets at 13.97.
The old enemy dished up dry, spinning wickets when Australia last toured in 2013, and Johnson suspects they will do the same again.
But against South Africa in an ODI in Harare on Tuesday, the left-arm gun-slinger sent an ominous warning to England that he won't be shut down.
The sight of two of David Miller's stumps flying clean out of the ground in spectacular fashion on a slow, two-paced wicket convinced Johnson he can intimidate and execute on all surfaces.
"It's pretty good vision ... not so much for the batter," said Johnson, who will lead Australia's charge in the tri-series final against the Proteas on Saturday.
"It makes you feel good about yourself and gives you that confidence.
News that another booming Johnson delivery on Tuesday actually broke the arm of Proteas batsman Ryan McLaren - the same man he felled with a blow to the head earlier this year at Centurion - only confirmed that the fear factor now exists on all surfaces.
"I probably haven't performed at my best on the slower wickets. And I've challenged myself ... it was on my mind for this tournament," Johnson said.
"It's good preparation to get these wickets here and keep improving as a player.
"Like most guys you're looking towards the Ashes and the World Cup - they're the big tournaments you want to play."
Johnson will return to England with a point to prove after he was left out of last year's touring squad.
The last time he contested an Ashes in the UK was 2009, and things went pear-shaped in the Lord's Test when he was carted for 132 runs at nearly seven an over in the first innings of a match Australia lost by 115 runs.
Johnson lost his way that day, but the 32-year-old has since transformed.
He now sees himself as a mentor, especially for left-armer Mitchell Starc, who has similar talent but at this stage also some of the inconsistencies that Johnson has had to overcome.
One of the things Johnson's learnt is what's required to succeed on slower decks.
"On these wickets, you've just got to bowl straight and be patient," he said.
"... No width, trying to hit the stumps - lbw, bowled."
"Adjust and go back to our aggressive ways, using the short-pitched ball when we need to, but ... trying to keep it as simple as possible.
"It's probably more of a patience game and let them make the mistake."