Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne believes that Jofra Archer has the opportunity to end Steve Smith’s run scoring.
The 24-year-old Archer will make his long format debut at Lord’s in the second Ashes test, which begins on Wednesday, August 14, after missing out on the series launch due to a side injury. He will likely replace the injured James Anderson, who proved his fitness in a second XI match for the County Association of Sussex.
Warne was of the opinion that Archer’s experience with Smith would be useful to Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League when playing against the star batsman. “Steve [Smith] has been the star of the show so far, but now Jofra has joined his Royals [and England] teammates Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler,” Warne said.
Smith, who returned to Test Cricket after a one-year suspension, scored 144th and 142st in the first Ashes test and was the chief architect of Australia’s 251-run win over hosts in Edgbaston. Although Warne wants Smith to appear with the same intensity for the remainder of the series, he expressed concern over his chances against Archer.
“Of course, I’d like to see Steve scoring a hundred points in each inning for the rest of the ashes, but when Jofra comes in, he’ll face his biggest challenge, and that could lead to the difference in the upcoming tests.
“No one likes to face big bowlers at 150kph The loss of Anderson was a big blow for England, and they really need Jofra to get ahead, but I think he has all the traits to do that. You [Archer and he] Smith] will often have faced each other in the nets, so if someone has a plan, it will be Jofra. “
Archer, in turn, said he did not spend much of his time overseeing Smith in the IPL, but acknowledged that he probably found out a few things about the batsman when he was in the locker room with him.
“To be honest, I did not turn it on,” he said. “Many of the guys probably do not want to deal with me or Oshane Thomas on the nets, but when you play with them, you notice things that you normally do not notice when you’re only playing against them.”