Ashes 2019: Root excited to see Archer's England Test bow

By Sports Desk August 13, 2019

Joe Root is excited by the prospect of seeing Jofra Archer begin his England Test career against Australia in the second Ashes Test.

Archer has been named in a 12-man England squad ahead of the clash at Lord's, having missed the opener in which the hosts were thrashed by 251 runs.

There is huge attention on Archer as he prepares to make his bow, with the electric paceman set to replace the injured James Anderson, yet Root does not see the pressure getting to his young star.

The supremely confident Sussex bowler has not played a first-class match since last September but is being backed to deliver.

"He's very confident - as he should be," Root told a news conference. "As he's made very clear, it's his preferred format with the red ball. I'm very excited to see him at the beginning of a journey.

"As I've said, he's a very confident young guy and things like that [his first-class lay-off] don't seem to phase him.

"I think he's proven that throughout the World Cup, coming in and dealing with that right at the last minute, and all the pressures that held. He doesn't want to shy away from stuff like that.

"If anything, I think it'll motivate him. When he gets his chance, he'll be desperate to prove to everyone how good he is, as he says he is."

Asked if Archer could be the decisive factor in the series, Root replied: "We'll have to wait and see. If you ask him, he'll definitely say yes.

"But that's what you want - young guys coming in, full of confidence and belief in their own ability. He's someone who definitely won't shy away from any challenge.

"It's great to have someone like that in the dressing room. He feeds off the rest of the guys as well. It's a great position for him to start in."

However, Australia captain Tim Paine is hoping Archer's past performances in the Big Bash League have prepared the tourists for this week's Test.

"That's Test cricket. A lot of our guys have seen Jofra or faced him, which is a plus," he said. "Obviously it's been in white-ball cricket, but we've actually faced him in Australia, where conditions really suit fast bowling.

"I think we've seen him at his fastest, guys know what to expect, they know how skillful he is and how good he is.

"Like most bowlers that play Test cricket, there are going to be times where he's going to be a real threat and we have to weather that.

"[The focus on Archer] doesn't bother us, to be honest. We're focused on what we have to do - not the expectation around Jofra and whether he can handle that or not.

"I don't know. I don't think he'll worry, from what I know of him. I think it's exciting. It adds to the Test match and adds to the atmosphere."

Related items

  • Karunaratne hits a century as Sri Lanka make light work of New Zealand Karunaratne hits a century as Sri Lanka make light work of New Zealand

    Sri Lanka cruised to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand as Dimuth Karunaratne scored his first century in 23 innings on day five of the first Test in Galle.

    Karunaratne - who had reached 71 not out to lead Sri Lanka to 133-0 at the close of day four - scored 122 as he maintained his perfect record as Test captain.

    Tom Latham's drop let Karunaratne off the hook early in Sunday's play and, though the hosts eventually lost their skipper when he edged Tim Southee behind, the damage was already done.

    Angelo Matthews (28 not out) picked up the mantle and with the umpires granting an extension prior to lunch he sealed the win, and 60 ICC Test Championship points, when he nudged Trent Boult for a single, with Sri Lanka successfully chasing down 267, bettering their previous record run chase at Galle (99).

    After a superb knock in the last session of day four, Karunaratne picked up where he left off, clipping New Zealand's spin bowlers around the pitch with ease.

    Karunaratne hit six fours and one maximum, with that huge hit over midwicket from Ajaz Patel bringing up a 150 partnership with Lahiru Thirimanne (64), who was dismissed three overs later when the Black Caps reviewed an initially unsuccessful lbw appeal.

    Kusal Mendis (10) was quick to stamp his authority on proceedings - hitting William Somerville for four on his second delivery before he launched a six over long on.

    Mendis' cameo was a short one, though, with Patel drawing a lazy sweep that Sri Lanka's number three wedged straight to Jeet Raval.

    But Matthews steadied the ship, keeping the strike ticking over between himself and Karunaratne, and the latter ended his long wait for a ninth Test hundred when he lobbed Patel for four.

    With the hosts firmly in control, Sri Lanka's batsmen picked up the pace and, though Southee ended Karunaratne's innings before Kusal Perera (23) sent a Boult delivery to Mitchell Santner, Matthews gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 lead in the two-match series four overs later.

  • Ashes 2019: Smith blow brought up 'rough memories' for Langer Ashes 2019: Smith blow brought up 'rough memories' for Langer

    Steve Smith receiving a sickening blow from a Jofra Archer bouncer on day four of the second Ashes Test jabbed at painful memories of Phillip Hughes' tragic death for Australia coach Justin Langer.

    Lord's was enraptured by a gripping passage of Test match action as Smith sought to stand firm in face of a ferocious barrage from debutant England paceman Archer.

    Having worn a lifting delivery on the forearm, Smith was left prone on the turf when he ducked into an Archer bouncer, prompting immediate concern.

    Australia opener Hughes died after being struck on the back of his neck during a Sheffield Shield game in November 2014. David Warner, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Brad Haddin – all members of the Australia touring party – played in that match at the SCG.

    "You never like seeing your players get hit like that," Langer told a news conference. "There's obviously some pretty rough memories of a blow like that. So there's no fun in it."

    Smith appeared frustrated to have to leave the field after a lengthy medical assessment but, after coming through concussion tests, he returned when Peter Siddle was out caught behind to Chris Woakes.

    The same bowler removed Smith for 92 – comfortably the most significant contribution to Australia's 250 all out before England closed on 96 for four, a lead of 104.

    "As soon as he got up in the medical room he was saying, 'I'm going okay'. The doctor said he had passed the concussion tests," Langer explained.

    "As soon as he got back in the dressing room he was ready to go back out there again. These are like my sons. You're never going to put them in harm's way.

    "He said, 'I can't get up on the [Lord's] honours board unless I'm out batting'. All he was concerned about was that he wasn't going to play his forward defence because his arm was hurting for his top-hand grip.

    "I asked him privately two or three times and in front of the group and he said, 'All good, coach'. What else do you do?"

    Langer also paid tribute to a spell of fast bowling for the ages from Archer.

    "I've got massive admiration for Jofra. I think he's an unbelievable athlete and an incredibly skilful bowler," he said.

    "Test match cricket is hard work but his endurance was outstanding today – his skill, his pace. What an athlete and what a great player to have to promote Test cricket.

    "To bowl 29 overs today, time will tell if it has an impact. We hope it does, like we do with all the England bowlers, like they would with our bowlers."

    Australia will look to extend their 1-0 lead in the five-match series on Sunday but could have been in an even stronger position, having failed to review two lbw appeals against Rory Burns and the still-unbeaten Ben Stokes that would have gone in Nathan Lyon's favour.

    "It's frustrating, there's no doubt about that," Langer added. "It can change a session, it can change a Test match, it can change a series.

    "We're aware of it and we have to get better at it."

  • Ashes 2019: England feared for Smith after Archer blow - Woakes Ashes 2019: England feared for Smith after Archer blow - Woakes

    Chris Woakes conceded England's players were concerned for Steve Smith's welfare after Jofra Archer struck Australia's star batsman with a brutal bouncer at Lord's.

    Smith once again top scored for the tourists with 92 in 250 all out, a miserly first-innings deficit of eight that felt far less significant in the overall reckoning than England closing day four on 96 for four.

    But the 30-year-old left the field as a precaution having ducked into a bouncer during a rapid spell from Test debutant Archer that struck him on the neck and left him prone on the turf.

    It was a moment to evoke unwelcome memories of Phillip Hughes' tragic death in 2014 and, even though he was fielding in the deep, Woakes had no doubt over the severity of the incident.

    "I was down at fine leg but you get a feel as a player when someone gets hit, by the noise more than anything," the all-rounder told a post-match news conference.

    "You could hear it was more fleshy, around the neck. When that's the case you're immediately worried as a player.

    "Jos [Buttler] at short leg was in straight away to check he was okay, which was nice to see. You don't wish that on anyone.

    "For Steve to come back out after being hit the way he was shows courage and character. He's been incredible in this series."

    Woakes eventually claimed the prized wicket of Smith amid figures of 3-61, trapping him lbw without playing a stroke.

    "I suppose it is strange because he hasn’t left any on the stumps all series so far! He'd just come back out, he hoyed me over midwicket for a one-bounce four," he said when asked whether he felt Smith was out of sorts having returned to the field when the Warwickshire man had Peter Siddle caught behind.

    "I don't know if he was trying to get to three figures as quickly as possible, I'm not too sure. It's a tough one to answer.

    "He hasn't left one like that so far – I just thought it was a good piece of bowling!"

    The spell that will live long in the memory, however, is Archer's astonishing stint after lunch, where he hit a top speed of 96.1 mph and also cracked Smith painfully on the left forearm.

    "Not personally, on the field," Woakes replied when asked if he had ever witnessed a quicker piece of bowling.

    "You see quick bowling around the world but that was a prolonged spell of fast bowling.

    "I don't know what the average was he was up around [90 mph] every ball. The atmosphere in the crowd, you could tell that it was pretty special. The crowd were certainly behind every ball

    "It was special to be a part of. I haven't been on the field when someone's bowled that quick consistently."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.