Jofra Archer hit back at Justin Langer’s comments in duelling press conferences. (AP: Steven Paston)
England fast bowler Jofra Archer has warned against tagging him as a short-form specialist after Australia coach Justin Langer suggested the quick could be worn down on Test debut.
- Langer insinuated Archer’s lack of red-ball cricket could be exploited in the second Test
- Archer said: “I think Justin Langer has another thing coming”
- The 24-year-old is expected to replace injured spearhead James Anderson at Lord’s
Having recovered from a side strain, Archer is poised to be named in England’s XI when the second Test of the Ashes starts at Lord’s on Wednesday night (AEST).
Archer, who missed the first Test over injury concerns after spearheading England’s bowling attack at the World Cup last month, proved his fitness when he took six wickets and scored a rapid century for county side Sussex’s second XI last week.
The 24-year-old was included in England’s squad in the absence of record wicket-taker James Anderson, who bowled only four overs in the first Test at Edgbaston before injuring his calf again.
Langer said the key to dealing with Archer, England’s leading wicket-taker at the World Cup with 20 victims, was to wear him down by batting long and forcing him to bowl more spells.
Langer is having to plan against a somewhat unknown force, with Archer starved of first-class matches. (Reuters: Craig Brough)
“I’m really curious about how Archer is going to go,” Langer said.
“He’s a very skilled bowler and a great athlete, but Test cricket is very different to white-ball cricket.
“Like we’ve talked about a long time, we’ve got to keep wearing them down and get him back into his second or third and fourth spells.”
But Archer said the Australian coach should not underestimate him, despite the fact he has not played a game of first-class cricket since September last year.
“I think Justin Langer has another thing coming,” Archer said.
“I’ve played a lot more red-ball cricket than I have white-ball cricket.
Archer spent plenty of time on the field in the first Test after James Anderson’s injury. (Reuters: Andrew Boyers)
“I do think it’s my preferred format anyway. I personally believe in Test cricket you get a lot more opportunities to redeem yourself.
“If it’s 50 overs, when you don’t have a good 10-overs, that’s it. You have ample chances do it in red-ball games. Test cricket is pretty much the same as first-class — know what your strengths are and stick to them.”
Aussies looking at new pace-bowling attack of their own
He also assured England fans he was completely recovered from his side strain and ready to step up.
“I’m probably more ready than I have ever been. I bowled 50 overs in one game for Sussex, which I think was past the overs they told me to bowl. It was good practice,” Archer said.
“[My fitness] has never been better. [The side strain] just needed to settle and we couldn’t get that gap in the World Cup. After that, it settled in a matter of days.
“Don’t expect any miracles, I can only come in and do what I can and give my best. I can’t work miracles, but I will try to.”
Australia, for its part, is likely to give one of its fast-bowling group a first look at Ashes cricket this series.
Mitchell Starc missed the first Test at Edgbaston, but is in the mix for Lord’s. (AP: Rick Rycroft)
After spinner Nathan Lyon was backed up by Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle and James Pattinson in the opening 251-run win at Edgbaston, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are looking for inclusion in the second Test.
“You can’t fit six in to three, you can’t fit four in to three, so whoever misses out it’s going to be tough,” Langer said.
“The one who will be 12th man will be even tougher — whether that be Sidds or Josh or James Pattinson, whether it’s Starcy or Pat Cummins, they are all very, very good bowlers.
“It’s going to be a really tight call between two of them, or three.”
Cummins has expressed his interest in playing all five Tests in the series and took four vital wickets on day five in Birmingham as Australia stormed to victory, meaning Pattinson and/or Cummins are the likely candidates to make way for Starc and/or Hazlewood.