Burns expects Archer to turn up the speed as England look to hit back

Archer showed glimpses of his pace on Thursday.

By Press Association Published: 15 August 2019 - 10.27pm



Rory Burns believes England Test debutant Jofra Archer will be seeking revenge with the ball after being on the receiving end of some aggressive bowling from the Australia attack.

Archer was targeted with a series of short deliveries from pace bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins as he helped the hosts reach 258 all out in the first innings of the second Ashes Test.

The Barbados-born 24-year-old, who made 12 from 20 balls, then repeatedly topped 90 miles per hour during a wicketless six-over cameo with the ball, before the tourists finished on 30 for one at stumps.

Opener Burns, who top scored for the hosts at Lord’s with 53, has backed team-mate Archer to come out fighting on Friday.

“I would have thought so. He copped a fair few as well so he’s probably looking forward to getting his own back,” said Burns.

“It’s quite an obvious tactic. The boys are preparing for it and luckily we can dish out some of our own in this game as well.

“We’ve got some boys in our armoury who do the same thing so it should be pretty interesting.”

After being emphatically beaten in the opening Test at Edgbaston, England’s quest to level the series suffered a major setback with Jason Roy out for a three-ball duck and captain Joe Root following shortly afterwards.

Jason Roy's early dismissal hurt England
Jason Roy’s early dismissal hurt England (John Walton/PA)

Half-centuries from Burns and Jonny Bairstow (52) helped steady the ship, with Chris Woakes chipping in with 32.

Burns was not surprised by the short deliveries as he was warned to expect them by Nathan Lyon.

“Not really. I’ve obviously batted a few balls so far in this Test series and they are looking for different ways to get me out,” he said.

“I think Nathan Lyon ran past me this morning and mentioned it within about three balls so I was well versed and prepared for what I was getting. It’s just a good battle, isn’t it?”.

Burns also feels the contest is perfectly balanced going into the third day.

“I think it’s tight, isn’t it?,” he continued.

“It’s a competitive total, we’d obviously have liked more runs if we could have eked them out but I think the seamers kept everyone interested all day. It’s poised quite nicely.

Rory Burns continues to impress
Rory Burns continues to impress (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I think it’s game on and we’re right in amongst it.”

Spinner Lyon joined Hazlewood and Cummins in taking three wickets, going joint third with Dennis Lillee’s 355 on his country’s all-time list.

Only Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath sit above him in the Australian pantheon now, a fact even he finds hard to believe.

“I haven’t had the time to sit back and think about it. I really struggle to see myself up with the likes of Warne, McGrath and Lillee,” he said.

“It doesn’t sit well with me. In my eyes those guys are true legends of the game and I’m just some bloke trying to bowl off-breaks and make people proud of the Australian cricket team.”

Lyon rated his side’s collective efforts as imperfect, with three chances going down, but is content with the state of the game.

Australia: Most Test wickets

  • 708 - Shane Warne
  • 563 - Glenn McGrath
  • 355 - Derek Lillee
  • 355 - Nathan Lyon
  • 313 - Mitchell Johnson

“I don’t think we had the best day, being brutally honest,” he said.

“By our standards I don’t think we were good enough for long periods of time. We won the toss and created more than 10 chances because we haven’t played catch. We can get better and that’s exciting, but we were still able to bowl England out for 258 on a day-one wicket.”