Jofra Archer ready to make his mark in Test cricket
England paceman Jofra Archer insists he is ready to rise to the challenge of Test cricket and warned Australia coach Justin Langer “has another thing coming” if he thinks otherwise.
Archer is set to make his Test debut at Lord’s in the second match of the Ashes on Wednesday, the same venue where he played a starring role in the World Cup final a month ago.
While Archer’s skills in the limited-overs arena have been proven on the highest stage of all, his last first-class appearance came in September 2018 and a productive outing for Sussex’s second XI last week represents his only match in whites this season.
Langer has said Australia’s plan for Archer is to “keep wearing him down, get him back into his second or third or fourth spells” but the man himself believes the opposition are barking up the wrong tree.
“I’m probably more ready than I’ve ever been. I think Justin Langer has another thing coming,” he responded.
“I’ve played a lot more red ball than I have white ball. I do think it’s my preferred format anyway. I personally believe in Test cricket you get a lot more opportunities to redeem yourself.
“It was actually the first format I played in when I started at Sussex. If it’s 50 overs, when you don’t have a good 10-overs, that’s it. You’ve got to wait till the next game. You have ample chances to do it in a red-ball game.”
While the 24-year-old is clearly confident in his own ability to help England strike back from 1-0 down in the series, he also moved to dial down expectations.
After record wicket-taker James Anderson was ruled out with a calf problem, much will be asked of Archer at Lord’s but he does not expect things to come easy.
“What I would say firstly is don’t expect any miracles!” he said.
“I can’t work miracles – I’ll try to but I don’t think that’s how it might pan out. I’ll try my best and I can only give my best.”
Langer earlier reflected on the rigours of five-day cricket and will be an interested onlooker as Archer seeks to prove his credentials.
“We’ve seen what a good cricketer he is, we respect him. But like everyone I’m really curious to see how he goes in red-ball cricket,” the Australian said.
“Hopefully our guys have got the answers for whatever he’s got to dish up to us. The question is have you got the mental toughness and the physical endurance to play well in Test cricket.
“That’s not just for him it’s for the 22 guys out there, those same questions are asked.”