Tuesday Aug 20, 2019 | By: Web Desk
Pakistan’s fast bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar has warned that England’s “impressive” speedster Jofra Archer would pick up serious injuries if his workload is not managed properly.
Akhtar, world’s fastest pacer, knows plenty about the toll that the body takes due to bowling at express speed, thanks to having battled a variety of injuries during his 14-year career.
He believes England’s Barbados-born star, as impressively built as he is, is a “perfect candidate for injuries” due to his flawed bowling action.
“Jofra Archer is an exciting talent. He has an impressive physique; his upper torso is strong; his shoulders and back are developed but I still think he is the perfect candidate for injuries,” Akhtar explained in a YouTube video.
“He will be injury-prone and I think his back would give up because firstly, he doesn’t have a jump, and secondly, he puts load on his back. He snaps through his action, uses his arms and then his wrist comes into play.
“With such speed and a front-arm action, it would be surprising if his back does not cave. Even the stretches he does while bowling are all back-based. I can already some stiffness in his back.”
The Rawalpindi Express pleaded with the England management to not overwork Archer, explaining that pacers do not need to bowl many overs to be productive.
“What can we do to save him? He should play less. You cannot play him the whole Test series. You cannot also have him bowl 27 overs in an innings. If Jofra Archer cannot do something in 15 overs, he cannot do it in 25 overs either,” Akhtar said.
“Fast bowlers take wickets in the span of three or four overs. They take fivers in quick succession. If you make Archer bowl for 30 overs, you’re going to break him.”
Akhtar predicted that Archer’s terrorising emergence could be a game-changer not just in Ashes 2019 but for the overall art of fast bowling, which he rued has lost its oomph and edge.
“After containing Steve Smith, I think the Ashes will change a bit. That time has come for fast bowlers to be more aggressive. They need to rough up the batsmen. This is important because fast bowlers today are of a very ‘decent’ kind. We do not need these decent types. We want hostile bowlers who can hit the batsmen on their heads,” he said.
Akhtar also revisited his earlier remarks where he had said that Archer should have checked on Smith after flooring him with a bouncer in the second Ashes Test.
“Archer should have gone towards Smith and checked on him. Like Yuvi said, I would have done the same, and if he were okay to continue then I’d have sent another few bouncers his way. This is what fast bowlers do,” he said.
“People say that when I had hit Saurav Ganguly I did not go to him. People don’t know the whole story. I wanted to check on him but Moin Khan stopped me. He said don’t show yourself weak to him. But after that whoever I hit, be it Brian Lara or Gary Kirsten — I’ve retired-hurt 19 —I always went to see how they were doing and apologised even. But had they stood up after that, I’d have again tested them.”