London: England skipper Joe Root heaped praise on pacer Jofra Archer, saying "the bowler has made a massive impact on the team". His remarks came after the second Test between Australia and England in the ongoing Ashes concluded in a draw at Lord's Cricket Ground. This was also the debut Test match for pacer Archer.
"He has come in and made a massive impact," Root said. "He has added a different dynamic to our bowling group and given Australia something different to think about. It's pleasing to see someone come in on Test debut, shake up things and live up to the hype - even some of the hype he put on himself. It makes for a very interesting last three games," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Root as saying.
"He makes things happen with such a unique action and natural pace, which is always in the game on any surface. That with the skill of the others, makes for a tasty combo," he added. On the final day of the Test match, Archer gave England a glimmer of hope of winning the match as he scalped quick wickets of David Warner and Usman Khawaja.
But Archer's antics on day four of the Test match will not be forgotten in a long time as he bowled a lethal spell to Australian batsman Steven Smith.
Smith had to deal with two blows on day four of the second Test match. Firstly he was struck on the elbow by Archer and soon after, he received a striking blow on the neck by a bouncer bowled by the pacer.
Physios from both England and Australia attended Smith, but the batsman had to leave the park in order to have a concussion test. A little while later, the batsman made his way back to the crease, but a section of England crowd was seen booing the player. Consecutively on day five, Cricket Australia released a statement that Smith had faced delayed concussion and as a result, the batsman was ruled out of day five of the second Test.
Root lauded Archer and said that the pacer gives him a completely different option in the bowling attack. "He's very different to other options that we have had previously in this team, and on a different surface, which might nibble and swing a little bit more to add that into a quartet, it's a really big bonus for the team. You always feel like you have got something different to turn to," Root said.
England and Australia will next lock horns in the third Test in the ongoing Ashes at Headingley. After winning the first Test, Australia currently holds a 1-0 lead in the series.