LEEDS, ENGLAND — AUGUST 22: Jofra Archer of England celebrates dismissing Nathan Lyon of Australia during day one of the 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Headingley on August 22, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND — AUGUST 22: Jofra Archer of England celebrates dismissing Nathan Lyon of Australia during day one of the 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Headingley on August 22, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

World’s quickest paceman more than a speed merchant

Jofra Archer's journey to Headingley ran into a dead end.

A one-way street forced Archer into the car park behind the neighbouring rugby field, delaying his entrance into the Test venue until just 40 minutes before the toss.

The bungled preparation was no obstacle for the game's newest - and its coolest - Test cricketer.

"I'm pretty relaxed," Archer, 24, said.

"I don't need to bowl a lot of balls in the warm-up. I actually don't think I need to bowl in the warm-up at all."

Archer doesn't waste any energy. Post-game he kept his backpack on while sitting and speaking, with six Australian wickets in his back pocket after day one of the third Test.

In eight days Archer has now delivered a staggering 61.1 overs and taken 11 Ashes scalps. Childhood hero Michael Holding didn't think it was possible.

 

 

"Archer bowled a third of all the overs bowled," the West Indies icon said after the Lord's Test.

"That's a spinner's quota. If you keep bowling him like this you will lose the 96mph (154.5km) delivery. It's abuse."

Instead, Archer is abusing Australia. England captain Joe Root couldn't wait to give his new toy the new ball, winning the toss and bowling and giving Archer 10 overs from one end, albeit interrupted by rain delays.

When Archer's first spell dipped in pace from that frightening burst at Lord's, Holding was convinced he was on the money.

 

Jofra Archer leaves the field holding the ball after claiming six wickets during day one of the third Ashes Test. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jofra Archer leaves the field holding the ball after claiming six wickets during day one of the third Ashes Test. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

 

 

Archer's 12th ball removed Marcus Harris and hit 140km, but he was well short of the 155km thunderbolts that rocked Steve Smith.

The frightening fast bowler wasn't so frightening. Accurate, yes, but frightening, no, with Archer's pace dropping from 154km to about 135km.

"The pace he bowled for so many overs (at Lord's) could have a lasting effect this Test match," Holding said.

Australian great Ricky Ponting agreed. Archer was bowling a lot fuller than at Lord's but, as Ponting said, Archer has previously unleashed "exceptionally quick" Yorkers. So, where were they?

 

 

"Surprise the batsman with a bit of extra pace, even one or two balls per over," Ponting said.

Mark Waugh tweeted that Archer was in second gear, bowling "little medium-fast swingers".

Hold your horses. David Warner - the man in the middle facing up to Jofra - held the answers.

"(He's) a bit like how Dale Steyn with the new ball - try to just use the conditions and then ramp it up when they need to," Warner said.

"That was world-class bowling at its best."

Sir Viv Richards reckons Archer's hidden talent is the fact his bouncers contain no cues, given his run-up is a dazzling balance of fluency and effortlessness.

Warner likened that to Mitchell Johnson.

"It has its challenges," he said.

"Mitchell Johnson was the same, he had a slow run up and then thunderbolts. These guys, it takes getting used to, it's a rhythm thing."

Archer is unconventional. The Fortnite-lover bowled left-arm spin in the Leeds nets before this Test and mimicked Steve Smith's batting intricacies.

 

 

He trains in gold necklaces and bowls with gold stars. Fielding at mid-off, Archer tied his sweater around his waist and, five wickets later, he led England off the ground with it slung over his shoulder.

Archer's first spell read 10-2-31-1, and included bundles of plays and misses.

Archer started his next spell with Warner and Marnus Labuschagne settled, the Aussies in the midst of a runs-fest and England under the pump.

His figures read 7.1-1-15-5. It could've been even tidier, according to Jofra, who attributed plenty of twos and threes to Root's attacking fields.

Warner copped a beauty, Matthew Wade was bowled for a duck - as the ball softly deflected onto the stumps - and then the tail was ripped to shreds.

 

Matthew Wade turns around to see the bail falling off and is out for 0 off the bowling of Jofra Archer. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Matthew Wade turns around to see the bail falling off and is out for 0 off the bowling of Jofra Archer. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

 

The scary part was Archer had replaced fear and fight with accuracy and efficiency and the damage was far greater.

"I don't need to run in and bowl 90mph every spell to get wickets," he said.

"It's shown that today. There will be times in Test matches you have to focus on hitting your length. There will be times to ramp it up as well, but you don't have to go into it every innings."

The scarier part was that Stuart Broad has probably been the best bowler this series and yet is flying under the radar.

The scariest part is that England's best bowler, James Anderson, will be ready to partner these two weapons for the fourth and fifth Tests.

The Archer express has turned the Ashes on its head. And, according to Jofra, the wheels aren't slowing down.

"I wasn't too stiff, I surprised myself. I pulled up okay so I might have to delete that tweet," he said.

 

News Corp Australia


Tough windy conditions for Rocky Barra Bounty

premium_icon Tough windy conditions for Rocky Barra Bounty

A barramundi was caught that was released in 2015 and has grown over 500mm.

Cap Coast hotel named best Keno venue in the state

premium_icon Cap Coast hotel named best Keno venue in the state

Check out which popular coastal venue took home the prestigious title at the annual...

Get your Rookwood Weir questions answered tomorrow

premium_icon Get your Rookwood Weir questions answered tomorrow

The CQ community will have an opportunity to quiz the project team about the weir.