Ashes 4th Test: Aussies are anxious says England star Jofra Archer
Fast bowler Archer plays down his impact ahead of the Old Trafford clash
The Ashes 2019 4th Test
- When: 4-8 September
- Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
- Daily start time: 11am (BST)
- TV coverage: live on Sky Sports, highlights on Channel 5
- The series is tied at 1-1 after three Tests
Jofra Archer believes that England have sewn seeds of doubt in Australian minds after their mesmeric victory in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Ben Stokes’s blistering century denied the tourists the win they expected, and in doing so the English all-rounder has kept alive the Ashes series going into the fourth Test, which starts next Wednesday at Old Trafford.
Sewing the seeds
According to Archer the manner of the sensational fightback, allied to the way the Aussies lost their composure in the final few overs, means that it is now advantage England in the Ashes with the series tied at one Test apiece.
“We planted a few seeds of doubt in the Australian side,” Archer told Sky Sports News. “They’ll probably think twice about declaring. They now won’t know if enough [runs], is actually enough.”
Adding that the England squad has “taken a lot of positives” from the win, Archer claimed the Australians will have plenty of food for thought for the rest of the series.
“I just think the Australians are going to have to think twice about giving us a target,” he said. “They thought 350 was a lot - it was - but we gave it a fair crack and we got there at the end of the day.”
Too much talk
The Australians play Derbyshire in a three-day match starting today. Star batsman Steve Smith will make his return after sitting out the third Test because of concussion he suffered at the hands of Archer in the second Test at Lord’s.
But while he gets the chance to prove his fitness, a host of big names have been rested, including skipper Tim Paine, out-of-form batsman David Warner and bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon.
Smith is expected to return to the Test side next week, and on Tuesday he dismissed suggestions that he was nervous at the prospect of taking guard against Archer once more.
“There’s been a bit of talk that he’s got the wood over me, but he hasn’t actually got me out,” Smith reminded the press. “He hit me on the head on a wicket that was a bit up and down at Lord’s.”
Keep it real
Archer followed up his fearsome bowling display at Lord’s with his first five-wicket haul in the first innings at Headingley, but he was keen to play down the hype surrounding his stunning introduction to Test match cricket.
“I think that’s a bit of a stretch to call me the world’s best bowler,” Archer told Sky Sports. “It’s cricket, you can’t ever write the script.
“I only got two wickets in the second innings - it doesn’t always go to plan - but I never thought I would get my first five-wicket haul soon.”
Pet shop boys
But he admitted that his life has already changed as a result of his sensational bowling.
“I go to the supermarket and someone usually recognises me, sometimes just random people off the street come up and shake my hand,” he explained.
“It happened in a pet shop last night, in fact - a guy walked past me and said: ‘well done in the World Cup’.”