Jofra Archer had set the Test match arena on fire with his ferocious pace and hostility in the Lord's Ashes Test versus Australia. Archer hit Steve Smith, Australia's most prolific batsman, on the side of the neck with a pacy bouncer at 93 mph and put him out of action on the final day of the second Test and the Leeds match as well. Archer, who was included in the side in place of James Anderson who suffered an injury in the Edgbaston Test, almost did not make it to the Leeds Test.
Speaking at the end of the day's play, Archer revealed that he arrived for the Leeds Test moments before the toss as he was plagued by a unique issue. "Actually I was early but there was a one-way street so I ended having to park in the car park behind the rugby field. I'm pretty relaxed. I actually don't think I need to bowl in the warm-up at all. I bowl a few balls before we go out and that's enough for me," Archer said.
The England pacer, who had taken 20 wickets in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to help the side to the title, took his maiden five-wicket haul as his 6/45 helped England to bowl Australia out for 179 on day one of the Leeds Test.
Archer's skill and awareness of the conditions displayed his maturity. On a hard wicket in Lord's, Archer employed the bouncer brilliantly and bowled with extreme pace. In Leeds, in overcast conditions and on a wicket assisting seam movement, Archer bowled close to 88 mph and got the ball to nibble away consistently. His spell drew immense praise from David Warner, who called it 'incredible Test bowling'. However, Archer said he drew inspiration from the West Indies' quartet of great fast bowlers who had dominated the sport in the 70s and 80s.
"Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner," said Archer, who was originally born in Barbados. "Joel Garner went to my school and he often comes back."
England are in a great position and they will be looking to assert their dominance in the Leeds Test as they aim to level the series.