NO FEAR: Young English batsman Gary Ballance says he is ready to face Aussie quick Mitchell Johnson.
NO FEAR: Young English batsman Gary Ballance says he is ready to face Aussie quick Mitchell Johnson. AAP IMAGES

Johnson holds no fear for young Englishman

YOUNG England batsman Gary Ballance is not running scared ahead of the resumption of hostilities with Australian left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson in the second one-dayer at the Gabba today.

Johnson is back in green and gold after being rested for the first showdown in the five-match one-day series at the MCG last

Sunday, a game the Aussies won by six wickets, and he's itching to continue his reign of terror against the Poms.

But Ballance, 24, who was dismissed by Johnson for seven in the second innings of his Test debut in the fifth and final Ashes Test at the SCG earlier this month, said he had no fear about facing the searing pace of England's chief destroyer in the longer form of the game.

"He's bowled at a decent pace, but I felt like I could handle it all right. I felt comfortable and confident against him," said Ballance, who top-scored with 79 for his side at MCG, in what was only his second ODI.

"He's had a good Test series, but we're all ready to face him."

Ballance scored his second half-century of the week, making 56 in the 172-run win over the PM'S XI in Canberra on Tuesday, and said he was hoping to carry that form into today's clash.

"Getting two decent scores always helps the confidence. I feel good," he said.

While Ballance was sure he and his teammates could handle Johnson, Australian batsman George Bailey was not convinced.

He believes Johnson's return will pile on the misery for England's struggling batsmen.

"Anyone who can bowl that quick, it gives you an advantage," Bailey said.

"Around the world there's not that many blokes that can do it ... if Mitch is on top of his game and the way he plays, I think this ground and this wicket definitely suits him."

Meanwhile, Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson has been rested for today's game as well as the third and fourth games in Sydney and Perth.

He has been replaced by Victorian all-rounder Dan Christian.

Christian, who is averaging 46.50 for the Brisbane Heat in the BBL, has played 17 ODIs, most recently against Pakistan in 2012.

Aussie coach Darren Lehmann said he intended to give each of the bowlers a break during the series in a bid to keep them all fit for next month's tour of South Africa.

TEAMS

Australia (from) Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Dan Christian, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh

England (from) Alastair Cook (c), Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes

TEAMS

Australia (from) Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Dan Christian, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh

England (from) Alastair Cook (c), Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes



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