Jofra Archer continues to make headlines as he deflated Australia with his six-wicket haul on the first day of the third Ashes Test at the buzzing Headingley Cricket Ground and showed that he is not all about speed.
Jofra was destined to be the pick of the bowlers—he created a throbbing headache for Tim Paine at Lord's and got his potent in-form weapon Steve Smith injured after a nasty 92mph bumper gave him a mild concussion.
Archer toned down his short pitch barrage during his return of 6/45 in 17.1 overs and yet Australia could only muster a meager 179 after England captain, Joe Root elected to bowl under thick rain-bearing clouds. His move was spot on as Headingley turned out to be a happy hunting ground for speedsters.
"I don't need to run in and bowl 90 mph every spell to get wickets. I've shown that today. There will be times in Test matches you have to focus on hitting your length. There will be times to ramp it up as well but you don't have to go into it every innings." boasted Archer.
The 24-year-old Barbadian was of the opinion that conditions in Leeds prompted him to hurl fewer bouncers as compared to Lord’s.
"I bowled a few, obviously to let the batter know they are still there but this wasn't a short-ball wicket, it wasn't as hard as Lord's.
"So it's just getting it on the full line and length and it got results today," he reflected after stumps.
Archer has got a bit of a swagger about him; he nonchalantly showed up late for work and arrived at Headingley very close to the toss.
"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 explained.
Labuschange didn’t look jittery and batted with Steve Smith’s type of dogged resistance. The 'supersub' for concussed Smith in the previous Test, did not capitulate under probing spells of England’s pace quartet that was led by Jofra.
Archer was the go-to bowler for Root whenever runs started to bleed.
Every time Australia had any semblance of control, Archer would come and stall the momentum of innings by breaking the partnerships.
The universe conspired to help Jofra when Matthew Wade got out in a peculiar fashion as a snorter struck him in the thigh pad and rolled over to knock off one bail. Australia lost their last eight wickets for a mere 43 runs.
"That's incredible Test bowling," acknowledged David Warner.
"It's a bit like how (South Africa great) Dale Steyn with the new ball tried to just use the conditions and then sort of ramp it up when they need to. That was world-class bowling at its best."
Archer responded to his counterpart's praise by remarking it as "really flattering" despite the fact that his fast bowling role models as a child were Caribbean legends.
"Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner," said Archer. "Joel Garner went to my school and he often comes back."