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'Little Pigeon' ready to fly

india Updated: Dec 24, 2006 16:57 IST
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As Glenn McGrath, nicknamed 'Pigeon', bids the game goodbye, Australia has a 'Little Pigeon' in young fast bowling prospect Mitchell Johnson, who is ready to fill his shoes, chiefly as a prankster.

McGrath, the world's most successful pacer who will quit after the World Cup in April, has a reputation among his teammates as a serial pest due to his love of practical jokes and dressing room tomfoolery.

Often annoying, McGrath's antics have also lightened some tense moments in the Australian dressing room and 25-year-old Johnson has been studying the master at work.

"He jokes around a lot and it's something I've started to do -- they are already calling me 'Little Pigeon'," Johnson was quoted as saying by the 'Herald Sun'.

"Now I've got a bit of confidence around the players I'm really hamming it up. People say Pigeon is a pest but I've always found him really funny," he said.

Touted as Australia's next pace star, Johnson is also likely to be drafted into the Test side after McGrath's retirement.

"I haven't really thought too much about all the talk of Pigeon's retirement but I suppose it does get me one step closer to playing Test cricket for Australia in the long term. But I'm not counting my chickens yet," he said.

Johnson's whippy left-arm action has already brought him 14 wickets at 25.78 in one-day internationals.

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