The Test series between South Africa and England is all square at 1-1 after England won the second test match at Cape Town. England however, suffered a massive blow after their highest wicket-taker James Anderson was ruled out of the remaining test match series because of injury.
England will now have to choose between Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes for the third test match at Port Elizabeth. Before the series, everyone wanted to see a showdown between two hostile fast bowlers Rabada and Archer. Jofra Archer who managed to pick up a five-wicket haul in the second innings wasn’t at his best and did not play the second test because of an elbow problem.
Archer, who by far is the quickest English bowler at the moment, has already made an impact for his team in all forms of cricket. After his heroics in the World Cup, Archer was picked in the squad for the Ashes series. He was the third-highest wicket-taker in the series, only behind Pat Cummins and Stuart Broad.
The speedster played a crucial role in the Ashes and helped England draw the series 2-2. Archer since then, has been unable to perform consistently and as a result, he hasn’t been able to cement himself his place in the side.
Jofra Archer had a below-par New Zealand tour
Archer had a below-par tour of New Zealand, where he only managed to pick two wickets in two Test matches. There were questions raised regarding his performance, and everyone believed that captain Joe Root wasn’t able to utilize him properly on fairly flat wickets in New Zealand.
Former England skipper Naseer Hussain believes that Archer is the best man to replace Anderson in the third test. In his column for the Daily Mail, Hussain wrote: “If Archer is only around 80 per cent fit, then I can understand England leaving him out. But if he is fully fit and he says he is confident and fully recovered, then England have to put faith in him”.
Hussain praised Archer’s record, who has played seven test matches till now and has picked three five-wicket hauls and his wicket tally of 60 is more than the likes of English legends James Anderson and Stuart Broad. “Just look at his statistics he has 3 five-wicket hauls in 7 Test matches, to put that in context, it is the same amount that Andrew Flintoff managed to pick in his entire career and Freddie was described by Ricky Ponting as one of the best fast bowlers that he faced,” added Hussain.
“This is not a Jofra Archer issue, it’s an England cricket problem. We tend to be wary of people who are perhaps are a little unconventional, going back to David Gower and Kevin Pietersen. The highly talented maverick who wants to do things his own way”.
There is no doubt regarding the quality of Jofra Archer and if England is able to manage his workload he is going to break plenty of bowling records. Archer is definitely an X factor, because of his extra pace that adds a different dimension in the bowling attack of England. He has the ability to run through the opposition when he gets on a roll.
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