Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne believes that the introduction of Jofra Archer into the England pace attack for the second Ashes Test could be key to stopping Steve Smith early into his tracks.
Smith proved to be the scourge of England in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston with the right-hander registering twin tons (144 and 142) to set up a 251-run win for the Aussies. It took the Australian’s Ashes ton tally to 10 and he is now averaging nearly 140 in the last 10 Tests against England.
While England have been left searching for answers on how to dismiss Smith in his current form, Warne believes that Archer’s express pace and mean bounce could be just what they need to do the trick.
Archer is yet to make his Test debut for England with injury concerns keeping him out of the first Test but the Barbados-born pacer is in contention to make his bow at Lord’s in the second Test after proving his fitness in a Sussex second XI clash.
“Steve has been the star of the show so far but now we have Jofra joining his Royals (and England) teammates Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler,” Warne was quoted as saying by AFP.
“Obviously I would love to see Steve go on and score a hundred in every single innings for the rest of the Ashes but with Jofra coming in I think he’ll be set to face his biggest challenge yet and this could make the difference in the upcoming Tests.
“No one likes to face tall 90 mph bowlers.”
Archer played alongside Smith with Rajasthan Royals in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League and Warne feels that the England pacer can use that stint to his advantage.
“The loss of (James) Anderson was such a blow for England and they will really need Jofra to step up, but I think he has all the attributes to do just that,” he said.
“They (Archer and Smith) will have faced each other a lot in the nets so if anyone will have a plan, it will be Jofra.”
The second Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s is slated to get underway on August 14.
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