Archer’s menacing duel sets tone for Down Under
Jofra Archer streamed in, hit Matthew Wade with a string of bouncers and smiled menacingly at his opponent in a piece of sporting theatre that has set the tone for the next Ashes series.
On hard, bouncy Australian pitches, Archer’s pace will be the point of difference England have lacked on previous Ashes tours when they have been outgunned by the home attack.
Wade had dished out plenty of verbals to Archer and the England players throughout the series so he knew what was coming.
Archer was certainly not going to miss this last opportunity for payback. He ramped his pace up to 95.6mph and struck Wade on the shoulder as he peppered him with a series of short balls.
Crucially though, he could not dismiss Wade, who made a plucky hundred that, notably, Archer did not applaud.
Archer was named man of the match for his six wickets in the first innings and finished with 22 at 20.27 in four Tests having been unfit for the first game at Edgbaston, announcing himself as a Test cricketer after a stunning World Cup.
“He has been fantastic to take two six-fors in four Tests,” Joe Root, the England captain, said. “We saw with his spell here how he changed the whole atmosphere of the ground. It was incredible for someone at the beginning of his career to have such a gift. He is entertaining and it is great to be able to captain that. We are all looking forward to the rest of his journey.
“When I first faced him in the nets against the red ball I was clear he was going to be very special.
“We have got to be careful not to expect too much. He is a young guy playing all three formats.
“I am still learning how to get the best out of him as captain but he is definitely going to entertain and make things happen.
“He will not always bowl at 90mph but will still only go at two an over and create chances.”
Squaring up: Jofra Archer (right) gave Matthew Wade a tough time yesterday