Sport Cricket No fear: Proteas ready for Johnson assault
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No fear: Proteas ready for Johnson assault

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South Africa have relived their first Test nightmare and are ready to thrive on the challenge of facing Mitchell Johnson, according to Morne Morkel.

The Proteas on Tuesday assembled for their first training session since losing the three-Test series opener by 281 runs in Centurion.

Morkel suggested there had been some honest discussions and feedback about the unexpectedly one-sided contest.

“There’s a lot of things we’ve analysed and seen what we need to do and work on,” he said.

Top of coach Russell Domingo’s post-mortem examination would have centred on Johnson, who claimed career-best match figures of 12-127 and bowled with venom to be the difference in the Test.  

Throw in the immense pressure of needing at least a draw in Port Elizabeth to avoid their first Test series loss since 2009, and Morkel termed it a great challenge.

But nothing that would keep the hosts awake at night.

“I wouldn’t say there’s fear. It’s just for us to really stick to our gameplans and come up with gameplans,” Morkel said.

“It’s about fronting up.

“I know our top-six guys are seeing it as a nice challenge.

“He’s bowling well, he’s got his tail up at the moment. For us, the important thing is not to focus on that and not to highlight it too much.”