Archer bosses Second XI game to stake Ashes claim
Australian Test great Jason Gillespie says second Test selection a 'no-brainer' for fast bowler - and that he was fully fit and ready to play Edgbaston opener
Sam Ferris in Worcester
7 August 2019, 08:03 AM AEST
Former Australia fast bowler and Sussex coach Jason Gillespie says England "missed a trick" not picking paceman Jofra Archer for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston but is certain the World Cup hero will be selected for the second Test at Lord's next week.
Gillespie's comments come off the back of Archer taking 6-27 from 12.1 overs and then crashing a century with the bat for Sussex on day one of a three-day Second XI clash against Gloucestershire at Blackstone, approximately 18km north of Brighton.
Archer's performance on Tuesday strengthens his claims for a Test debut at Lord's following the injury to veteran seamer James Anderson, who was ruled out with a damaged calf.
Having carried an "excruciating" side injury during the World Cup and played white-ball cricket exclusively for the past 11 months, Archer was overlooked for the Edgbaston Test, which England lost by 251 runs.
But Gillespie says the right-armer is fully fit, firing on all cylinders and expects him to play against Australia at St John's Wood in a week's time.
"I'll be completely honest, and I might be biased as coach at Sussex, but I was surprised he didn't play the first Test to be perfectly blunt," Gillespie said on Tuesday. "He should have played.
"It's easy to say that in hindsight but he's 100 per cent fit, ready to go.
"Personally, I think England missed a trick by not playing him but he'll certainly play at Lord's.
"He's playing a second team game today to get some overs under his belt to get himself ready for the second Test and I'm sure he'll be playing.
"He has to play. To be perfectly blunt he had to start the first Test but the powers that be decided he wasn't quite ready."
With Anderson out, England will make at least one change to the XI that lost to Australia in Birmingham, with Archer and Olly Stone the frontrunners to come into the starting side.
But in Gillespie's eyes Anderson's spot must go to Archer, the 24-year-old who was England's leading wicket-taker in the World Cup and who bowled the dramatic Super Over in the final at Lord's.
And while Archer has dined out exclusively on limited-overs cricket since his last first-class game in September last year, Gillespie says the speedsters best format is with the red ball.
"For me, pick a guy when he's in form, going well so for me it's a no brainer. He must play this second Test," Gillespie said.
"He adds another dimension to this England bowling attack – he's got pace, bounce, movement off the seam, through the air.
"Four-day cricket, five-day cricket is his best format so appreciate how good he is."
In the wake of England's emphatic loss in the first Test at Edgbaston, where Australia's all-round attack got the most out of a dry, flat pitch, head coach Trevor Bayliss has indicated the selectors will likely turn to express pace for Anderson's replacement.
That puts Archer and Stone in a head-to-head battle for one spot, with Mark Wood ruled out of the series through injury.
Historically, England have not been able to match Australia's battery of extreme fast bowler, but that could change in the near future with an exciting crop of quicks on the verge of imposing their skills at the highest level.
"Obviously, we would like a bit more pace," Bayliss said. "We've been waiting for some guys with a bit more pace.
"We are starting to see younger guys coming through with a bit more pace: the likes of Olly Stone, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
"Woody's obviously injured at the moment but some of those guys are getting very close to selection. And that's exciting.
"That's what we've been waiting for, for those guys to get up to speed. I don't think we are too far away from that."
Archer's pace caused plenty of problems for the inexperienced Gloucester Second XI where 11 of the 12-man team were aged 20 or under. Teenager Milo Ayers felt the full force of Archer's bowling when a delivery clattered his grille.
Archer dismissed Tom Price and Gareth Roderick, caught by Joe Billings and Jack Carson respectively, inside his opening five overs.
A century for @JofraArcher! 😅 pic.twitter.com/OU45KyNEmK— Sussex Cricket (@SussexCCC) August 6, 2019
He claimed his third wicket of the day by removing the off stump of Matt Brewer and then, in the space of three balls in the 29th over, had Dominic Goodman caught by Tom Haines and struck Jack Worgan's middle stump.
Gloucestershire top scorer Gregory Willows was Archer's final victim, caught by Carson for 38 off the opening delivery of the 33rd over to leave the visitors 79 all out.
With the bat, Archer made 108 from 99 balls during a 104-minute innings which included 12 fours and four sixes, before being trapped lbw by Adrian Neill. At the close Sussex were 8-279.
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Tour match: Australians v Worcestershire, August 7-9
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval