Destructive Archer has shaken up the series, says England captain Root

The Test debutant produced a series of fiery spells which rattled Australia at Lord’s.

By Press Association Published: 18 August 2019 - 8.55pm



Joe Root

Jofra Archer can rattle Australia in similar fashion to Mitchell Johnson’s demolition of England during the 2013-14 Ashes series, according to England captain Joe Root.

Test debutant Archer justified his billing by taking five wickets as England came close to pulling off an unlikely victory in a drawn, rain-affected match at Lord’s.

Retired pace bowler Johnson was player of the series with 37 wickets when Australia whitewashed England 5-0 five-and-a-half years ago.

Joe Root and Jofra Archer celebrate the wicket of Australia’s Usman Khawaja
Joe Root and Jofra Archer celebrate the wicket of Australia’s Usman Khawaja (John Walton/PA).

Root was part of the team to suffer at his hands and believes Barbados-born Archer can help turn the tables in comparable fashion.

Asked if Archer was having a similar impact to Johnson, Root replied: “Potentially. I think one thing it will do, it will make them think quite clearly about how he’s going to come at them.

“It’s very different to the other options that we’ve had previously and have in this team.

“It's really pleasing to see someone come in on Test debut and really shake up things and live up to the hype”
- Joe Root on Jofra Archer

“He’s come in and he really has made a massive impact, added a different dynamic to our bowling group and has given Australia something different to think about.

“It’s really pleasing to see someone come in on Test debut and really shake up things and live up to the hype – even some of the hype that he put on himself.

“He makes things happen when not many others in world cricket can. Such a unique action and way of bowling, and obviously natural pace, which is always going to be in the game on any surface.

“When you’ve got that and the skill of other guys around it, it makes for a tasty combination and I think that’s one of the reasons why we always felt we were in the game tonight and always felt we could get a result right to the end there.

“It makes for a very interesting last three games.”

After declaring with a second-innings lead of 266 following a superb Ben Stokes century, the hosts were four wickets from victory after three dismissals apiece from Archer and spinner Jack Leach.

But Australia, without the concussed Steve Smith who was hit in the neck by an Archer delivery on day four, dug in for a draw.

Joe Root was proud of his team's efforts at Lord's
Joe Root was proud of his team’s efforts at Lord’s (Mike Egerton/PA).

Concussion substitute Marnus Labuschagne played a major role for the tourists, stepping in for Smith and recovering from a vicious 91.6mph blow to the grille from Archer to make 59.

The stalemate means England remain 1-0 down in the series, but Root felt his team gave everything to force a result in difficult circumstances following the series of rain delays.

“I thought that we threw everything at them there, gave ourselves a good amount of overs to try and create things and sometimes you need absolutely everything to go for you,” said Root.

“All in all it was a fantastic effort, from start of the start of the day.

Ben Stokes celebrates reaching his century
Ben Stokes celebrates reaching his century (John Walton/PA).

“The way we went through the gears – Ben (Stokes), in particular, was brilliant.

“To get us to that score we knew it would be very difficult for Australia to get any sort of result out of the game.

“Credit to Australia, they managed to hang on.”