Record: Rodney Hogg during the Brisbane Test of the 1978/79 Ashes series. Photo: Allsport
Mitchell Johnson would have sailed past the Australian mark for wickets in a home Ashes series if he had another Test up his sleeve, according to the record-holder Rodney Hogg.
The man of the series in Australia's 5-0 whitewash of England finished with a stunning 37 victims, destroying the visitors with a brutal combination of short-pitched bowling and speed.
Hogg collected 41 wickets at an average of 12.85 for an Australian team missing its World Series Cricket superstars in 1978-79, but that series was played over six Tests rather than five.
And while Hogg himself pocketed 40 in the first five matches of that campaign more than three decades ago, he compared the performances of Johnson and Ryan Harris with that of legendary duo Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee, and said the reborn left-armer would surely have knocked off his record if there was another Test.
''He would have taken another 10 the way he was going,'' Hogg said. ''If England had batted a bit better, and keep the other bowlers out as well, he would have been up around it anyway. To be honest, I like hanging on to the 41, but the wicket we played on at the MCG in '78-79 … Johnson would have taken 25 wickets on that pitch.''