Johnson says batting cost him runs
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Left-hander Leon Johnson believes batting out of his natural position was partially to blame for his ordinary form for West Indies in the recent Test series against India and Pakistan.
The 29-year-old, recalled after an 18-month spell on the sidelines, managed just 128 runs in five Tests at an average of 14, without a single half-century, while opening the batting for Windies.
Johnson, who bats at number three for Guyana Jaguars, said batting out of position, coupled with a few technical flaws, were behind his disappointing run of form.
“It is a bit of both. Opening batting is very new to me and playing against international bowlers and the quality of bowlers of Pakistan and India, playing in that position will be difficult if you are not accustomed to it,” Johnson told the Guyana Times here.
“But to say that, it is not an excuse for not doing well. I should be able to adapt to it and they are few technical areas I need to work on.”
In three innings in two of the four-Test home series against India, Johnson scored just 32 runs. Retained for the tour of the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan, he managed a top-scored of 47 in the day/night opening Test in Dubai.
He finished the three-Test series with 96 runs and was especially disappointing in the third Test with scores of one and 12, even though West Indies notched their first success of the tour with a five-wicket win in Sharjah.
Johnson, who captains two-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars in the Regional four-day championship, said he was hoping to retain his place in the West Indies side.
“I got a couple of starts and I didn’t make full use so I’m bit disappointed with my international performances,” he noted.
“But coming home now, hopefully I can replicate the form I had last season and score the volume of runs in first class cricket and maybe more so I can maintain a place in the regional side so I can better the performances against India and Pakistan.”
Johnson has not been his usual prolific self in the domestic first class season, and has garnered only 232 runs at an average of 29 from five games.
However, he said he was not worried as he was in the process of working out some flaws in his batting.
“I have identified a few technical problems with West Indies batting coach Toby Radford and I have been working on those things and it makes me feel better doing it, since it has worked to an extent,” he explained.
“I have not scored the amount of runs I wanted to in the first half of the regional tournament but at no time I felt out of form.”