Having faced some of the most fearsome bowlers in his era, former Australia captain Steve Waugh is now all praise for England’s new Test spearhead Jofra Archer.
A mentor to the current Australia men’s Test team, Waugh says he finds it difficult to compare the extremely talented Archer to any other bowler.
He firmly believes that the 24-year-old speedster’s simple bowling action helped him maintain absolute accuracy. Furthermore, he was able to bowl long spells with immense ease, and the speed he generated in the end stood out and made him unique.
Archer played a huge role in changing England’s fortunes in the second Ashes Test. He wreaked havoc by ripping apart the Aussie batting line-up.
Prior to this, England had suffered a 251-run defeat in the first Test at Edgbaston.
“I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone bowl quite like that,” Waugh told The Unplayable Podcast after the second Test match.
“He sort of ambles in and gets very close to the (stumps), makes the most of his height, and he’s got a simple action.”
Waugh also felt that there were some similarities between the young quickie and Australia’s most successful fast bowler in Tests, Glenn McGrath.
“In a lot of ways, not a similar action to Glenn McGrath, but very repeatable.”
“I can’t see too much going wrong with it and his control was very good for that reason, because he just bowls in a direct line and he’s close to the stumps.”
“He’s very upright, makes use of his height, he’s got that deceptive pace and, as we know, a pretty wicked bouncer.”
“That’s something our team has got to analyze and work out how to play that because it was pretty effective in this (Lord’s) Test match.”
“He is a very impressive bowler, for sure,” he added.
Having led Australia to numerous wins during his captaincy, Steve Waugh opined that Jofra Archer was the kind of bowler any skipper would love to have in this team.
“It gives you that x-factor,” Waugh said.
“As a captain, you really want that bowler in your line up when you know you can intimidate the opposition, you can make things happen when it’s a seemingly flat pitch and potentially get wickets in clumps.”
“He’s a real asset to England.”
But the ex-skipper also stated that the youngster’s stamina and resilience would be tested at some point of time.
“If he plays four Test matches in a row, that will test him out.”
“So far he’s come through with flying colours.”
“(He bowled) forty (four) overs and each over was probably as quick as the previous one.”
Test Cricket is the longest format and is called challenging for a reason.
“It was a very impressive debut, but I know Test cricket.”
“It’s about longevity and how you back up and how you handle different conditions.”
“From England’s point of view, so far so good,” the cricketing stalwart concluded.