Mitchell Johnson: 'Joe Root has a cute smile'

Mitchell Johnson of Australia celebrates after dismissing Joe Root of England during day two of the First Ashes Test match between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 22, 2013
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Australia bowler Mitchell Johnson continues his mind games with England batsman Joe Root by declaring that he has a "cute little smile" ahead of the Ashes third Test.

Mitchell Johnson is adamant that there is nothing wrong with sledging ahead of Australia's decisive third Test of the Ashes against England.

Johnson has tormented the tourists throughout the current series, taking 17 wickets as the hosts romped to a 2-0 lead, but admits that intimidating England batsman Joe Root has proved tougher than first thought.

"That's fast bowling, isn't it?" Johnson told reporters. "Throughout history, it's all about intimidating.

"If you can bowl a ball at someone's grille, I don't care who you are you're going to feel intimidated - and especially on a wicket like Perth. I like the idea that being a fast bowler - you can be aggressive and intimidate.

"It can go either way. You can either be a bit lippy or give a little smile here and there can make the batsman think. Joe Root, we saw in Brisbane, came back with a few words and I thought I had cracked him there. Some people call it sledging, I just call it mind games. It's a cute little smile he's got. I didn't mind giving him one back as well."

The hosts can reclaim the urn and finally end a run of three consecutive series defeats to England with another victory in the third Test, which starts on Friday at the WACA in Perth.

Australia's Mitchell Johnson is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of England's Stuart Broad during day three of the second Ashes test on December 7, 2013
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