Former Test speedster Brett Lee says Mitchell Johnson is back to the form that made him one of the most feared bowlers in cricket and declared him ready to shake up England this summer.

While fans around the country guess as to which Johnson will turn up at the Gabba this week, Lee has no doubt it will be the speedster who terrorised Graeme Smith several years ago rather than the quick who had his confidence sapped in the 2009 Ashes.

On the eve of his third Ashes campaign, Johnson is bowling faster than ever. On the recent tour of India he regularly broke the 150km/h barrier, soaring as high as 155.

''I just think the thing with Mitchell Johnson is when he's chilled out, relaxed, enjoying it and got a smile on his face he's a silent assassin,'' Lee said. ''When he's got that quirky smirk on his face he means business.''

Lee shared a dressing room with the enigmatic paceman in 2008 when the left-armer unleashed one of the most hostile spells of fast bowling seen in this country in recent times.

In a devastating 21-ball burst against South Africa in Perth, Johnson snared 5-2, including the scalps of Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers.

''I haven't seen him bowl as well as he has recently - his run-up, his approach, position at the crease,'' Lee said.

''Over 150 is quick. He needs to shake the Poms up. The Mitch of 2013-14 should be a good one.

''The most important thing about Mitchell Johnson right now is the pace, and second is the swing. I don't care who's batting, if he's bowling over 150 [and] swinging the ball, he'll get wickets.''

Lee said Johnson had the speed and strength to scare high-class batsmen.

''He bowls what they call a heavy ball. You get bowlers who hit the bat at 140ks and guys who are slightly over who bowl a heavy ball which hits the bat a lot harder than

others - Mitch is like that,'' Lee said.

Lee would not discount the possibility of Johnson joining him in the magical 100 miles per hour (160km/h) club this summer.

''I hope so, why not?'' he said. ''You don't want to see bowlers at 130ks. There will be some at 130-140 who are very successful, that was Glenn [McGrath] - he had 563 reasons why he bowled that pace.''

Lee said Johnson had the capability to rattle the English, particularly on the faster and bouncier Australian wickets, which are markedly different to the spin-friendly pitches England served up during its home summer series.

Lee wants curators at the Test venues to produce lightning-fast tracks that suit the Australian quicks and will trouble the English batsmen.

''Of course they can be shaken up putting them on decent wickets here that they're not used to playing on back home,'' he said.

''What I don't want to see is real slow Australian wickets. I think we should use our best opportunity to try and take wickets. I'd like to see a bit more grass left on it for the Aussie quicks.''

Lee believes Australia has a better chance of regaining the urn on home soil than it did in England.

''I said when they went to England it's going to be a really tough tour, I don't think they can do it over there,'' he said.

''It turned out to be that case purely because [England] are so good on their own turf. Whereas in Australia it's a totally different ball game. You've got a different ball, home conditions, I think Australia can give it a real shake.''