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Mitchell Johnson flags more drama

ABC News logo ABC News 1/01/2014 ABC News
England's Kevin Pietersen and Australia's Mitchell Johnson argue during the third day of the fourth Ashes cricket test at the Melbourne cricket ground. © David Gray/Reuters England's Kevin Pietersen and Australia's Mitchell Johnson argue during the third day of the fourth Ashes cricket test at the Melbourne cricket ground.

Mitchell Johnson says he will not back down if Kevin Pietersen continues to step away during the paceman's run-up at the SCG.

Johnson was involved in an ugly confrontation with Pietersen during the fourth Test at the MCG over the batsman's repeated actions in windy conditions on day three.

The pace bowler exchanged words with Pietersen and at one point threw the ball hard in the direction of the slips while Pietersen stood at the crease.

Johnson was apologetic about one element of the confrontation, but signalled he would continue to stand up to Pietersen if the practice continued in Sydney.

"The only thing I probably regret was throwing the ball," he said.

"The rest of it was probably fine ... I let him know that he needed to stop doing it.

"I'm not going to back down if it happens again."

Johnson said he was sympathetic towards England captain Alastair Cook as the tourists' skipper takes stinging criticism for his team's poor performance down under.

"I've been in that situation (receiving criticism)," Johnson said.

"This is the first series that he's lost, so I've heard.

"It's pretty harsh the criticism, he's copped a fair bit. But that's the game.

"We know they (the English) are going to come out fighting hard.

"They're not going to want to lose 5-0."

However Johnson said his sympathy only went so far, stating that the Australians wanted to complete a series whitewash with victory at the SCG.

Johnson has turned his career around with 31 wickets in the first four Ashes Tests, at an average of just over 14.

He told reporters that his stunning comeback in the return Ashes series had been an emotional time for him.

"It was emotional for me in Perth, I found it difficult to bowl the last few overs (at the WACA)," he said.

"I'm proud of myself, that I came back in and did it.

"I always believed that I could perform at this level ... I've done all the hard work and I've had the team's support."

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