Archer ready to whip up a storm

Pace­man in line for Eng­land re­call as high winds forecast An­der­son and Broad to keep new ball for fi­nal Pak­istan Test

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sports Newspaper Of The Year - By Tim Wig­more

Eng­land are set to re­call Jofra Archer for the fi­nal Test of the sum­mer, with cap­tain Joe Root con­firm­ing that Eng­land hope to in­clude a 90mph bowler in their XI against Pak­istan.

“The ex­cit­ing thing is that you’ve then got Jofra to come in and hope­fully get the ball zipping around at 90-plus mph,” Root said. “It has been made very clear what his role is to play this week.

“I think he’s re­ally keen to show what he can do. He’s coming off the back of a rest and he’s full of en­ergy, so hope­fully we’ll see him at his best this week.”

While Mark Wood, who has not been se­lected since the open­ing Test of the sum­mer, is also in the reck­on­ing, Archer is the favourite to play. But James An­der­son and

Stu­art Broad are set to re­tain the new ball.

“In these con­di­tions, you pick those two bowlers to take the new ball. They’ve done it, they are so ex­pe­ri­enced, they set the tone ex­tremely well and they are the best to ex­ploit those con­di­tions first up,” Root said, ad­mit­ting that hand­ing Archer the new ball was in Eng­land’s long-term thoughts. “I think there may be a time for that to come in the fu­ture and, more likely, abroad.”

With Eng­land main­tain­ing their new pol­icy of not fi­nal­is­ing their play­ing XI un­til the toss, the like­li­est line-up will see Archer re­turn in place of Sam Curran in the only change from the sec­ond Test at the Ageas Bowl. Omit­ting Dom Bess, the spe­cial­ist spin­ner, is an­other op­tion but Eng­land are keen to al­low Bess the chance to de­velop.

Af­ter fears that there would be a reused pitch for the fi­nal Test due to the ad­verse weather con­di­tions, the ground staff have been able to pre­pare a fresh wicket.

But fierce winds are set to dis­rupt the Test match. The Met Of­fice has given a yel­low weather warn­ing for Southamp­ton to­day, with Storm

Ellen set to bring winds of up to 60mph, be­fore eas­ing later. It will be up to um­pires to use their dis­cre­tion on what ac­tion to take.

Un­der ICC guide­lines, heav­ier bails can be used in case of wind. At Old Traf­ford last year, bails were re­moved due to the wind. Both of these meth­ods could be de­ployed dur­ing the Test if need be. “It could im­pact on one or two grumpy bowlers if they don’t get the end they want and they are run­ning up­hill into the wind,” Root joked.

With un­cer­tainty over when Eng­land’s next Test match will be – play­ing in Sri Lanka in Jan­uary seems the team’s prob­a­ble next Test, de­pend­ing on how the Covid-19 cri­sis evolves – Root told the team to em­brace the fi­nal Test of the sum­mer.

“We don’t know when the next time is that we’ll play Test cricket so let’s make sure we throw ev­ery­thing into this week, make sure we leave no stone un­turned and we give ev­ery­thing.”

Pak­istan cap­tain Azhar Ali de­clared: “We think we have ev­ery­thing to win the fi­nal Test match,” as Pak­istan seek to level the series and main­tain their un­beaten record in Test series against Eng­land which stretches back to 2010.

Taken, sir: Ol­lie Pope makes a spec­tac­u­lar div­ing catch at the Ageas Bowl dur­ing Eng­land prac­tice yes­ter­day in readi­ness for the fi­nal Test against Pak­istan to­day

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