MELBOURNE: Now that he has cemented his place in the Australian squad, left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson is set to take the plunge and join the Indian Premier League.
Rivalling Brett Lee as Australia's most lethal bowler, Johnson is no longer a fringe player. His exploits with the old ball has redefined his role in the side and his manager Sam Halvorsen confirmed the pacer would seek a contract with one of the IPL franchises after skipping last year's auction.
"He was just focused on trying to consolidate his place in the Australian team last year and devote the time to building strength and training and trying and lock in his position long term," Halvorsen told 'The Age'.
"Physically he has become a lot stronger. If they (Australia) go to Pakistan (for an ODI series) they won't be playing anyway, but in the event that they don't...it's an alternative he can handle," said Halvorsen.
The pacer himself feels he is more at peace with his role in the Australian side and that was showing in his performance.
"I don't know if you can call me a senior player but I feel a lot more comfortable and definitely know my role in the team," said Johnson.
"When you start out, you are still working out your role but now I feel I have figured that out and I feel a lot more positive with my bowling. I'm always backing myself now. I just go out and try to win for the team and do my best," he said.