Root: Archer is bowling at speed of light
England paceman is fired up for comeback, warns captain Players to rally round bowler after ‘disgusting’ online abuse
England captain Joe Root has backed Jofra Archer to deliver in the deciding third Test at Emirates Old Trafford, saying that he has bowled at “the speed of light” in the nets since missing the second Test for breaching biosecurity protocols.
“I think Jofra will be ready for it,” Root said yesterday. “He’s had two good days of training and he’s got a smile on his face. He’s bowled [at] the speed of light over the last couple of days in spicy nets, so it wasn’t much fun for our batters.
“We have to understand he’s made a mistake, he’s been big enough to admit to that mistake, he’s taken his punishment, he’s apologised to the group – which is never an easy thing to do, to stand up in front of the rest of the group – and as far as I’m concerned he has trained well over two days and is ready to play.”
Archer had said that he was struggling for motivation when he returned to practice and needed to be “100 per cent mentally right” to play in the third Test, which starts today. He also said that he had received racist abuse on social media, which he has reported to the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“It was disgusting to see some of the stuff he’s had to put up with over the last week,” Root said. “As a squad, we’ll try to be around him and make sure he knows we’re all there for him. No one should have to deal with that, whether you’re a professional sportsman or a kid growing up at school. It’s deeply disappointing and there’s no other word for it than disgusting.”
But Root said Archer may have to find a better way of using social media, which the bowler this week described as “unnecessary noise”, saying that it could be “fickle” and bring “a lot of negativity”.
“Jofra has grown up with social media and it would be a big change to ask him to put it to one side,” Root said. “He’ll have to learn to deal with it and know it won’t go away, but there are times in the past it has motivated him to put in good performances, so the challenge is to use it in a positive way and sift out the stuff he doesn’t want to see.
“Ultimately, he just might need a
Mr Motivated: Jofra Archer gives England’s batsmen a torrid time in the nets ahead of the decisive third Test at Emirates Old Trafford