Jofra Archer set to belatedly make his Test debut
Jofra Archer was set to belatedly make his Test debut on Thursday as England attempted to get back on level terms against Australia in the Ashes.
The first day of the second Test at Lord’s was washed out without a ball being bowled although Archer, one of the stars of England’s victorious World Cup campaign, was awarded his first cap by Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan.
Jordan was an apt choice to welcome his fellow Barbadian into the fold, having helped the man he calls “a little brother” swap the Caribbean for Hove three years ago.
“I know this is the pinnacle for you,” Jordan told Archer. “One of the first things you told me when you came over to England is that you wanted to play Test cricket and that time has come. You’ve got 10 other guys as well as an entire nation supporting you.
“These (caps) aren’t just handed out, these are earned. Just go out there and do what you do best. Apart from receiving my England cap this is easily one of my proudest moments.
“I’ve watched you grow, not only as a cricketer but also as a professional and a human being. Every single challenge that has presented itself to you so far you find a way of rising to it and I don’t see Test cricket being any different.”
Better weather is forecast for day two, when Lord’s will turn red in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, a lung cancer charity set up to honour the late wife of Andrew Strauss, the former England captain and director of men’s cricket.
Fans have been asked to wear the colour and both teams will wear limited-edition caps and shirts to be auctioned off, one of several fund-raising initiatives in place.
“I’m excited about it, there’s a lot of anticipation about what we’ve got in store and what we might be able to get out of it and how we might be able to change people’s lives as a result,” Strauss said.
“On a personal level it’s going to be an emotional day for me and the kids but it’s great to be here and sample it and get a feeling of how much support there is for the foundation and people who want to pay testament to Ruth.”
Play will be extended by half an hour on each of the remaining four days, meaning only one session has been lost to the weather at this stage.
England, who have yet to reveal whether Sam Curran or Jack Leach will take the final place in their side, are 1-0 down after their heavy loss in the series opener at Edgbaston but will be buoyed by the presence of Archer’s formidable 90mph pace.
Australia coach Justin Langer confirmed that Josh Hazlewood would take the place of the rested James Pattinson, edging Mitchell Starc for the final slot.