Archer plays down his own talent, says Root
JOFRA ARCHER may be one of the hottest commodities in cricket after an astonishing summer but England captain Joe Root believes the paceman underrates his own talent.
Barely six months have passed since Archer made his England debut but his ability to regularly exceed 90mph and a wicked bouncer are just two of his tools that can potentially unlock any batting line-up.
That theory may be tested when England take on New Zealand at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, which is hosting its first Test and is expected to provide a batsmanfriendly surface.
Root has, therefore, challenged a bowler set to play in only his fifth Test and first overseas to take his focus away from the lateral movement he enjoyed in England and instead concentrate on what makes him special.
“Jofra adds something slightly different to what we had previously,” Root said. “Out-andout pace so that when it isn’t doing anything you feel still like you’re in the game and you can create chances.
“Knowing Jofra, he wants to see the ball moving sideways. But one thing he underestimates is his own talent sometimes and that pace through the air can be a quite a big skill in its own.
“To be able to bowl at that pace for a period of time is a skill in itself and I think he needs to understand that.”
This two-match series which starts tomorrow is not part of the World Test Championship but Root insists that does not cheapen the spectacle, saying it can be used as an opportunity to prosper in situations they may encounter in future.
He said: “Before August none of the Tests were for the championship, and they all seemed to mean something.
“One thing it is, is a chance to grow in these conditions on maybe some flatter wickets ahead of South Africa and maybe Australia down the line.”
England’s last visit to New Zealand last year saw them rolled out for a humiliating 58 before a classy century from Black Caps captain Kane Williamson ultimately helped the Kiwis to a series win.
The teams enjoy a friendly rivalry but, when asked if that takes the edge off, Root responded: “No, we’re playing Test cricket.
“That in itself trumps everything else.”