Don't expect Lord's miracles, warns Archer
Hailed by some as England's saviour after their first-Test thumping, Jofra Archer seeks to downplay the hype on the eve of his Test debut
Sam Ferris in London
13 August 2019, 07:13 AM AEST
Exciting paceman Jofra Archer has called for calm ahead of his presumptive Test debut, urging fans not to expect miracles in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.
Archer also played down concerns around his stamina having played just one red-ball match in the past 11 months after Australia coach Justin Langer said his side aims to force the right-armer, and all England's quicks, into long, repeated bowling spells.
The 24-year-old was one of England's World Cup heroes after bowling the Super Over in the incredible final at Lord's that resulted in a tie, which was enough for the hosts to lift the trophy.
But he enters the second Test with England 0-1 down in the series after the heavy loss at Edgbaston, where run machine Steve Smith proved an immovable object with two dominant hundreds.
With so much anticipation surrounding his likely debut, Archer was quick to downplay what to expect from him.
"Don't expect any miracles, firstly," Archer said at Lord's on Monday.
"Hopefully I'm going to make my debut sooner rather than later and I can only come in and do what I can.
"I can't work miracles – I'll try to but I don't think it might pan out.
"I'll try my best, I can only give my best."
Archer has made his name through limited-overs cricket, firstly in T20 domestic competitions around the world, including the KFC BBL and IPL, and then with England in the World Cup.
That diet of white-ball cricket has seen Archer play only one red-ball game – last week's Second XI match for Sussex – since his last first-class game in September 2018.
That lack of first-class, red-ball cricket has Australia coach curious to how Archer will handle the demands of a Test match.
"He's obviously got a great temperament, he's an incredible athlete but Test cricket is very different from white ball cricket," Langer said.
"Our plans to him will be no different than they were going to be to James Anderson or Broad, Woakes, Ben Stokes.
"It's the same for all of the (fast bowlers) in Test cricket – get them into their second and third and fourth spells.
"That's the question in Test cricket: Have you got the mental toughness? Have you got the physical endurance to play well in Test cricket?
"It's not just for him, it's for the 22 guys out there it will be exactly the same questions asked."
But Archer, when told about Langer's curiosity about his resilience, made it clear he can handle the increased bowling workloads of Test cricket.
"I'm probably more ready than I've ever been," Archer said.
"I bowled 50 overs in one game already for Sussex.
"I'm usually the one bowling the most overs anyway so I think Justin Langer has another thing coming."
If he debuts at Lord's, Archer will have to confront Smith and the challenge of dismissing the Australian cheaply.
Smith made 144 and 142 in Birmingham, his 24th and 25th Test match centuries, in what was his first Test in 15 months.
Archer played with Smith this year for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, but his time with the unorthodox right-hander in the subcontinent did not provide any extra clues to get the No.4 out.
"I think my ideas will be the same as the guys', it's just that the game plan hasn't been successful," Archer said.
"He played really well a Edgbaston. He had a day out, well, days out.
"Lord's is a bit different to Edgbaston so hopefully one can do a bit more down the slope and het gets out for 90 runs less."
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), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
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