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Root glad to see Archer ´shake up things´ on Test debut

  • a month ago
  • AFP
Root hails Archer for his 'unique' bowling dynamics and is glad to see the fast bowler give Australia something different to think about'. Photo: AFP    

LONDON: England captain Joe Root said fast bowler Jofra Archer had "lived up to the hype" with a dramatic Test debut against Australia at Lord´s.

World Cup winner Archer, who replaced the injured James Anderson in England´s team for the second Ashes Test, took five wickets in the drawn match, including 3-32 in Australia´s second innings on Sunday.

But Archer´s display, which almost helped England achieve an unlikely and series-levelling win in a match severely affected by rain, was about much more than economical figures.

The 24-year-old quick´s sheer speed gave England´s attack a new cutting edge.

Archer hit several Australians, with a fearsome bouncer that slammed into Steve Smith´s unprotected neck leading to a concussion that kept the star batsman off the field on the last day at Lord´s and could rule him out of the third Test in Leeds starting on Thursday.

"He´s come in and he really has made a massive impact, added a different dynamic to our bowling group and has given Australia something different to think about," said Root.

"It´s really pleasing to see someone come in on Test debut and really shake up things and live up to the hype -- even some of the hype that he put on himself.

"He makes things happen when not many others in world cricket can. Such a unique action and way of bowling, and obviously natural pace, which is always going to be in the game on any surface."

Root added: "When you´ve got that and the skill of other guys around it, it makes for a tasty combination and I think that´s one of the reasons why we always felt we were in the game tonight.

"It makes for a very interesting last three games."

England set Australia a target of 267 to win in 48 overs after Root declared their second innings following Ben Stokes´s 115 not out.

Archer and left-arm spinner Jack Leach both took three wickets apiece but , Test cricket´s inaugural concussion substitute after coming in for Smith, top-scored with 59 in an Australia total of 154-6 that secured a draw.

Labuschagne´s innings, which ended with a disputed catch by Root, was all the more impressive given the second ball he faced saw him hit flush on the grille of his helmet by a 91.6 mph Archer bouncer.

"I thought Jofra bowled really well," said Australia captain Tim Paine.

"Guys bowling at that pace take time to get used to and Jofra bowls from quite a height. He gets steep bounce."

This result left Australia 1-0 up in the five-match series following a 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston.

But Root said: "I thought that we threw everything at them there, gave ourselves a good amount of overs to try and create things and sometimes you need absolutely everything to go for you.

"Credit to Australia, they managed to hang on."

´Superb Labuschagne´ 

Much of that was down to Labuschagne, with Paine joking Australia wanted two batsmen to replace Smith, who scored twin hundreds at Edgbaston in his first Test back after completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal.

But on a more serious note, wicketkeeper Paine added: "Marnus played superbly.

"He got hit hard in the face second ball and I thought he showed great character, great skill and great technique.

"He came in today and batted as well as anyone in the Test match in, I think, the hardest conditions. It was dark, it was spinning, it was fast and moving around a bit."

Paine insisted Australia were well worth the draw.

"I wouldn´t say it was a great escape at all. It´s 1-0, we go to a Test match next week in Leeds in a great position," he said.

"There will be times in the three Tests when England are in control, and we will be in control. It´s about taking that winning momentum."