The owners of KXIP bought the pacer at whooping Rs 6.5 crore, the costliest buy for the team at IPL season-7 auctions. KXIP has so far not performed well in any season of the format and reached in semifinals only once (in 2008). But Johnson looks pretty confident with new team composition of KXIP as he said that the club has got great balanced side.

Replying to a question of Jagran Post that how he rates the new Punjab side, Johnson said, "When final auction was happening I was in South Africa for a test series and I had lots of guys talking about the Kings XI Punjab team and how well they have picked players. From my point of view all the Australian players they have picked and all the international players they have picked are very excellent players. I am looking forward to see how these young players are going to perform, so it is a very good side and I think we will do very well."

“Glenn Maxwell is in great form. He is a very exciting player. He showed against Pakistan during the WT20 what he can do. Having him in the side is a huge bonus. Then we have Shaun Marsh, with whom I have played at Western Australia, an outstanding Twenty20 player. Dave Miller can hit a long ball and that is what IPL is all about - hitting boundaries and the balls over the fence and getting crowds excited - and then obviously we have the experience of Virender Sehwag, a batsman a lot of bowlers in the world struggle to bowl against. Apart from that we have young players like Rishi Dhawan is a good all-rounder who was with me in Mumbai Indian in last session,” Johnson said adding that it’s an advantage for him to have so many teammates in his new club.

The left-arm pacer has been in the best form of his life, bowling Australia to an Ashes whitewash of bitter rivals England followed by an impressive performance in the subsequent Test series victory in South Africa. However, he was ruled out of the World Twenty20 squad due to infected toe.

Johnson feels that he was in dire need of a break after tiring South Africa series but prepared well for the seventh edition of IPL.

“I am very well prepared but obviously the infection in my toe was a kind of back step. I think it has given me an opportunity to get fit again. I am getting my strength back which is the most important thing for a fast bowler. I am working on lower part of the body, concentrating on lower legs and I would do some technical stuff which I was unable to do due to the infection. I am really very excited and going to perform my best,” Johnson said in a media call arranged by the franchise on Wednesday.

Last year, Johnson played a vital role in Mumbai Indians team. He is excited for this season as well because Mohali, home ground of KXIP, is better suited for pacers. According to Johnson, he will try to take advantage of his performance and will not leave any chance to intimidate batsman in the IPL.

“Based on the past six months of my performances, I am really excited about playing on Indian wickets and try to be intimidating as I have been in the last six months or so,” he added.

When asked on a lighter note that will Johnson’s fans see him doing his magic with or without famous moustache, he said that people pressed him to keep the beard.

Johnson had grown the moustache during Movember, which is a yearly charity event during the month of November to create awareness about various kinds of men’s health issues.

“With the moustache you can stare more in the batsman’s eyes, as it gives you an intimidating appearance,” he said.

Johnson added its bit of different for a fast bowler to keep a moustache but it’s a good thing to have.

(Raghwendra Shukla/JPN)

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