Joe Root: Jofra Archer won't shy away from challenge

Updated: Aug 14, 2019, 10:26 IST | AFP |

England skipper Joe confident debutant pacer Jofra will deliver as hosts look to make comeback against one-up Australia in second Test at Lord's starting today

England's Jofra Archer during a net session at Lord's. Pic /Getty Images
England's Jofra Archer during a net session at Lord's. Pic /Getty Images

London: England captain Joe Root said that he has no qualms about launching self-assured fast bowler Jofra Archer's Test cricket career in the cauldron of an Ashes clash at Lord's.

Barbados-born Archer, 24, seems certain to be handed his first Test cap today in place of the injured James Anderson as the hosts look to get back on level terms with Australia after a 251-run humbling in the first encounter at Edgbaston.

If selected, Archer will be making his Test debut on the ground where he bowled the decisive Super Over that sealed England's World Cup final win over New Zealand last month. "He [Archer] is certainly very confident and that's great to see in a young guy, as he should be after the World Cup," Root said at Lord's yesterday.

"And, as he made very clear, it's his preferred format so again I'm very excited to see at the start of his journey.

"If anything, it will motivate him and when he gets the chance he will be desperate to prove to everyone how good he is. That's what you want and he won't shy away from the challenge."

Archer's inclusion would give England a genuine cutting edge as the Sussex speedster can exceed 90 miles per hour (145 kilometres per hour) with the ball. But Australia's batsmen are used to fast bowling and several members of their side have played against Archer at the recent World Cup or in Twenty20 franchise cricket.

"A lot of our guys have seen Jofra or faced him, which is a plus," said Australia captain Tim Paine. "It's been in white-ball cricket but we've actually faced him in Australia where conditions suit fast bowling." "We've seen him at his fastest, they know what to expect, they know how skilful he is and how good he is. "Like most bowlers that play Test cricket there will be times where he's going to be a real threat and we're going to have to weather that."

No Pattinson at Lord's

Meanwhile, Australia have left pace bowler James Pattinson out of their 12-man squad with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood both vying for a recall. Pattinson was part of the team that won by 251 runs at Edgbaston, taking two wickets in his first Test in three years. But he will sit out the Lord's Test, leaving Starc and Hazlewood to push their claims.

Moeen Ali takes a break

Meanwhile, England's Moeen Ali will take a "short break" from cricket after being dropped from the squad to face Australia in the second Test. The all-rounder was axed after scoring nought and four in England's first Test defeat at Edgbaston. He also struggled with his off-spin, taking three wickets for 172 runs across Australia's two innings, failing to take advantage of a pitch that ought to have suited him.

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