Archer hits back from Manch­ester low point to lead at­tack

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Fifth Specsavers Ashes Test - By Nick Hoult CRICKET NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT at the Oval

Jofra Archer en­dured his first real low at Old Traf­ford last week, but he showed that was just a blip with a six-wicket per­for­mance that en­sures his de­but sum­mer will go down as one of the best by an Eng­land player.

Archer was the sub­ject of crit­i­cism for the first time in the fourth Test when he was down on pace and his bat­tle with Steve Smith proved to be a real let down af­ter so much an­tic­i­pa­tion fol­low­ing their duel at Lord’s.

He was wick­et­less in the first in­nings in Manch­ester and clearly strug­gled with the wind and cold on day one.

He was sledged by gloat­ing Aus­tralians when he bat­ted and there was a dan­ger his sum­mer would fiz­zle out af­ter the highs of the World Cup and his six-wicket haul at Head­in­g­ley.

If he stays fit, Eng­land have a bowler who can dom­i­nate for a decade, but they are still get­ting to know Archer and work­ing out what makes him tick. They have to put up with him be­ing late to team meet­ings and do­ing things his own way, ac­cept­ing that what he brings as a player is worth far more. Archer’s pace was back above 90 mph and he again bowled for long spells yes­ter­day. His phys­i­cal en­durance has largely gone un­no­ticed amid the wick­ets and bounc­ers, but Archer has bowled 140 overs in the series, 20 fewer than Stu­art Broad, who has played one Test more.

Broad looked spent yes­ter­day and Archer had to lead the at­tack in his place. “It was a tough wicket to bowl on. It looks good, but tough to bowl on with not much as­sis­tance. We just had to be con­sis­tent and hit a good length,” Archer said.

The big­gest chal­lenge is not giv­ing up when bowl­ing to Smith. “It’s weird, you know. Every time he bats, I don’t know what it is, he lit­er­ally can­not get out,” Archer said. “The ball just lands … if he

Peo­ple per­son: Jofra Archer em­braces Oval stew­ard Der­rek Blair

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.