The Ashes left no stone unturned to entertain cricket fans, one of them is definitely the Steve Smith and Jofra Archer banter. Steve Smith is all set to return in the squad after being ruled out from the third Test due to late concussion which he had during the second Test when he was hit on the uncovered area of his neck by a deadly bouncer from Jofra Archer. He failed to play in the second innings of the Test as well, although he scored 92 in the first innings.
However, Steve Smith has been playing in the tour match against Derbyshire and said he’s not afraid of Jofra Archer because he didn’t get him out. Even he further shared that other bowlers are more successful against him and mentioned he wouldn’t change his way of batting. Meanwhile, the concussion made him remember his late teammate Phillip Hughes who died in a similar accident.
Although England pace-spearhead Jofra Archer was not afraid of Steve Smith’s comment, he thought the visitors were self-satisfied at Headingley and that cost them the game. He, however, said England have a chance to win the Ashes.
“That’s the thing, never get complacent,” Jofra Archer said on Wednesday (August 28). “To be fair, 359 runs is a lot of runs. The crowd started to get on their backs as well, I think they panicked a bit. They probably thought they were going to roll us if they got a few quick early wickets but they didn’t and I’m glad we showed some resistance because the series isn’t over and in the upcoming games I don’t think they’ll declare now.”
However, Archer felt that the way Australia lost in the third Test would haunt them. This was because, despite getting the new ball, they failed to dismiss England.
“If they do have a chance I don’t think they’ll be too attacking. If they draw the series they still get to retain the Ashes. They were in the field for a long time. They got to the second new ball and still couldn’t bowl us out. All of those mental facts should sit with them next game,” said Archer.
To continue the battle with Steve Smith, Archer shared that he couldn’t get him out because he wasn’t there. He even shared the series is not about one man and he wants to win the Ashes.
“Well, I can’t get him out if he wasn’t there,” he commented. “But there’ll be more than ample time to get him out. I’m not saying I won’t get him out but if we don’t get him out there are 10 other people we can get out and if he’s stranded on 40 that’s not helping his team too much. He can’t do it all himself. We want to win the game. I’m not here to get caught up in a contest with one man. I want to win the Ashes.”
Although, England nearly lost the game by one run when Nathan Lyon missed the run-out opportunity.
“When Lyon fumbled the run-out, you could hear a heartbeat in the dressing room. There were so many emotions flying around. When the scores were level, it was just a big cheer. At least we knew the series was not over,” Jofra Archer expressed. “He did give us a second life in this series. Everyone would like to win the World Cup and the Ashes as well so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go and do it now.”
The fourth Test will start from September 4 at Old Trafford.