Jofra Archer made his Test debut in the Lord’s Test versus Australia in the absence of James Anderson. The big stage didn’t fluster him and he bowled with sheer venom and ferocity. The Barbados-born also ruffled the feathers of Steve Smith when he was batting on 80 on the fourth day. His bouncer, bowled at a decent 92.4 mph, smacked the batsman around the chin.
Thereafter, Smith went down in severe pain and was treated by the physios. He went off the park and then had to undergo a concussion test following which he again came out to bat. In the meantime, Archer was slammed left, right and centre. The same was for the reason that he didn’t go up to Smith to check on his well-being and rather had a laugh with teammate Jos Buttler.
Jofra Archer speaks up
After all the brickbats and criticism, Archer has opened up and said that he didn’t enjoy Smith being carried off. “To see him go down, everyone stopped and everyone’s heart skipped a beat. After he got up he was moving around and you breathe a sigh of relief. No-one wants to see anyone getting carried off on a stretcher,” Archer was quoted as saying in BBC’s Test Match Special.
It wasn’t the first time Archer’s bouncer got the better of an Australian batsman. A month ago, during the semi-final of the World Cup, Alex Carey had to face the wrath of the speedster. At the Edgbaston in Birmingham, Archer smacked the keeper on the chin. The left-handed Carey was treated by the physios after which he continued batting with his chin, bandaged.
In the ongoing game, Archer was hard to getaway. The youngster got rid of Cameron Bancroft to open his account in the longer format. Then he sent Tim Paine, the Aussie skipper, who got 24 runs, packing. The dismissal also broke an ominous 60-run stand between Paine and the determined Smith.
As far as Smith is concerned, after returning to bat, he had the chance of notching this third consecutive century. But that wasn’t the case as Chris Woakes trapped him plumb in front at the score of 92. Smith resorted to using the Decision Review System (DRS), but to no avail.
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