Hosts targeting series win with questions over best line of attack
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that he had spoken to the team doctor about the effect of the criticism he suffered. In his column, Archer wrote: “What I did was an error of judgment and I have suffered the consequences. I haven’t committed a crime and I want to start feeling myself again.
“I spoke briefly to the doctor about how I’m feeling and also to Ben Stokes. Ben tried to advise me on how to deal with being in the spotlight. He vowed to support me. Some of the abuse I have taken over the past few days has been racist and I have decided that enough is enough. I have forwarded on my complaints to the ECB and that will go through the correct process.”
The pitch for the series decider at Emirates Old Trafford is two strips across from the surface used in the second Test and was drying in the sunshine and breeze when it was left open to the elements on Sunday and Monday.
England coach Chris Silverwood expects it to be harder, so presumably quicker, than the pitch for the second Test, meaning either Archer or Mark Wood coming back in. “Jofra has done his five days and got his tests back which is great and he’ll integrate back into the squad,” Silverwood said. “We’ve been in touch with him all the way through.
All clear: Jofra Archer’s second Covid-19 test proved negative and he has rejoined the squad after serving his ban
As we’ve said previously, what we try and do is look after our players – their well-being is our top priority. So, Jofra has been looked after and he’ll be pretty glad to get back in amongst us.”
England lacked a battering ram in the second Test and were forced to pound Stokes into the ground in an effort to break through with the old ball in the absence of Wood and Archer. With Archer available for a match he was probably going to be originally rested for, they have the luxury of picking him and giving Wood further time to prepare for the Pakistan series.
Wood will be fresh after a week off, but his schedule needs to be tightly managed with one eye on him peaking for the first Ashes Test in 18 months’ time.
This final Test is a chance for England to not only win the series but clarify their best attack before playing Pakistan. But they will not be swayed by sentiment and the thought of playing James Anderson at his home ground and go back on their new policy of no longer pairing their two great bowlers together. “You pick a team you think can win the game. Jimmy was rested for the last Test. I think it was the right thing to do,” Silverwood said.