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Ashes 2019: Why Jofra Archer needs to be used judiciously by England

Raviraj Jha
22 Aug 2019, 10:12 IST

England v Australia - 2nd Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Five
England v Australia - 2nd Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Five

Australia lead Ashes 2019 1-0 after Steven Smith's heroics in the first Test and followed it up with an important draw at Lord's after surviving a frightening spell from Jofra Archer.

For the first time in the series, momentum seems to favour the hosts. The psychological advantage has swung away from the Aussies with Smith being ruled out for the third Test at Leeds. And Archer can claim some credit for this.

Archer has in his repertoire blistering pace, mental agility and great athleticism. He has got a the ability to extract bounce and pace even from dry pitches. His pace and hostility have injected has added that extra bit of motivation to this squad.

But being a fast bowler in modern cricket, dominated by batsmen, is not an easy task. They need to be mindful about injuries -- being aware of everything from the size of their shoes to the complex physics behind the rotation of their shoulders.

Archer has a short run-up and this means that much of the pace is generated from the upper half of the body. This makes his lower back a potential injury point. His unorthodox action makes his body prone to lumbar stress fracture.

Furthermore, Jofra Archer is not a Test specialist but an all-format bowler. So his workload in Test cricket needs to be managed. Joe Root and the England team management need to understand the limits of his bowling and should not overuse him.

Stuart Broad along with Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes bowled 13 overs collectively, while Jofra alone bowled 15 overs in the second innings. There's no denying that Root and Archer were hoping for an unlikely win.

However, he is more threatening for the oppositions when used for multiple short spells instead of how Joe Root used him at Lord's.

There's no doubt that Archer is a delight to watch, the any chance of England winning at Lord's was dependent on his skills and he nearly lived up to the expectations before a gritty knock from Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head saved the match for the Aussies.


Archer is a generational talent who has just begun his journey and he has the virtues to make him a great bowler. He needs to be nurtured carefully and used judiciously.

Also read - Ashes Winners List

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