England’s tearaway fast bowler Jofra Archer showed a different side to his talents by bowling left-arm spin in the nets ahead of the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
The 24-year-old was responsible for sidelining Australia’s star batsmen Steve Smith in the second Test at Lord’s with 92 mph bouncer.
He showed a similar ferocity in the England nets on Tuesday when one of his short pitched balls hit opening batsmen Jason Roy
Joe Root’s side trail the series 1-0 and know a loss in Leeds would mean Australia retaining the Ashes urn.
Head coach Trevor Bayliss says England will consider reshuffling their top seven as they look to level the Ashes in the third Test at Headingley.
The hosts retained an unchanged 12-man squad following a compelling draw at Lord’s but there are still questions over how best to use the batsmen at their disposal.
While Rory Burns is an undisputed opener – and also England’s leading run-scorer in the series with 266 – there are arguably question marks over the best roles for the next six players in the line-up.
“Now that we’ve arrived here in Leeds, that’ll be a conversation we’ll have I’m sure,” Bayliss admitted.
“We think we’ve got the best seven batters available to us at the moment in England… whether we can change it round and make that (order) any better, I’m not sure, but we’ll certainly have a discussion about it.
“I’m quite certain there’s one or two others in the right spot too and just because they’re not scoring runs doesn’t mean it’s not the right or wrong spot for them.”
Jason Roy is one of those who may come under the microscope, with his early outings as Burns’ partner failing to impress.
Although a world-class opener in the white-ball formats, he has scored just 45 runs in five knocks at the head of the innings, compared to an enterprising 72 in a solitary innings at number three.
Asked if Roy might be a more natural middle-order player against the red ball, Bayliss admitted: “Possibly. Personally, I think he probably is suited to the middle order but we’ve selected him in the top of the order because of his form in the one-dayers and experience in the one-day team, playing international cricket.
“At the start of his one-day career, he missed out a few times as well and it took him a little while to get the hang of it. So the possibility of him playing again at the top of the order doesn’t really concern us. We know what he can do when he does play well.
“Obviously from his point of view, you’d have to ask him exactly how he’s feeling but it’s obviously not quite the same as opening the batting in a white-ball game.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
England have named an unchanged 12-man squad for the third Ashes Test at Headingley beginning on Thursday.
The brevity of a four-day turnaround between matches meant changes to the struggling top order were always unlikely at this stage, while James Anderson is not yet considered fit after a calf injury.
That means the XI that drew a compelling, rain-affected draw at Lord’s on Sunday will remain in place, joined by all-rounder Sam Curran, who will be withdrawn from Surrey’s County Championship game against Hampshire.
Anderson, who pulled up after bowling just four overs in the first Test defeat at Edgbaston, is said to be “making progress”.
He will play for Lancashire’s second XI in a three-day match against Leicestershire on Tuesday in Liverpool and will be assessed continually leading up to his home Test at Old Trafford on September 4.
While the selectors were always likely to keep faith with their batting personnel for at least one more match, their decision was made a little easier by low scores on Sunday from Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley.
The pair are considered the best young openers in the country and could be promoted should Jason Roy’s lean run continue, but Sibley got a duck for Warwickshire against Somerset on Sunday and Crawley was dismissed for just five.