Jofra Archer returns to the England side to face Pakistan as Joe Root rolls out the big guns in the third and final Test in a bid to finish weather-hit series on a high
- Jofra Archer has returned to the England side to face Pakistan on Friday
- Archer looks set to be joined in attack by Mark Wood for the third and final Test
- Joe Root also backed Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad to shine at Ageas Bowl
Jofra Archer returns to the England side to face Pakistan on Friday with a license to thrill – and could be joined in the attack by Mark Wood as Joe Root rolls out the big guns to try to end the Test summer with a bang.
Archer looks certain to play at the expense of Sam Curran in the last of the six bio-secure Tests this summer that have done so much to safeguard the future of the game and, as Sportsmail reported on Thursday, has been told to turn up the heat on Pakistan with raw pace.
And England were on Thursday night contemplating throwing in the fit-again Wood to join him, with spinner Dom Bess missing out, in an all-out pace partnership on the Ageas Bowl ground where the pair last played together in the very first Test of this unique season.
Jofra Archer has been recalled to the England side to face Pakistan in Friday’s third Test
‘It has been made very clear what Jofra’s role is this week,’ said England captain Root on the eve of Friday’s final Test. ‘Chris Silverwood said as much when he spoke yesterday and that gives him real clarity going into the game.
‘I think Jofra is really keen to show what he can do. He’s coming off the back of a rest and is full of energy, so hopefully we’ll see him at his best this week.’
It is clear England want Archer, who has endured a mixed summer and was rested for the second Test draw, to prove he can replicate the extreme pace that was a feature of his introduction to international cricket last year, notably against Steve Smith at Lord’s.
Joe Root has rolled out the big guns to try to end the Test summer with a bang
But Root is not yet prepared to give him the new ball, with the established record-breaking pair of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad both set to play their fifth Tests out of the six back to back games against West Indies and now Pakistan.
‘In these conditions you pick those two (Anderson and Broad) to take the new ball,’ insisted Root. ‘They’ve done it, they are so experienced, they set the tone extremely well and they are the best to exploit those conditions first up.
‘The exciting thing is you then have Jofra to come in and hopefully get the ball zipping around at 90 miles per hour plus. There may be a time in the future for Jofra to take the new ball but more likely it will be abroad.’
England are determined to end the season on a high note with so much uncertainty over when they will next play Test cricket, with Root, 1-0 up with one to play, vowing to not hold anything back in pursuit of victory.
Root also backed Jimmy Anderson (left) and Stuart Broad (right) to shine at the Ageas Bowl
‘We owe it to ourselves after all the hard work we’ve put in over this period in the bubble to make sure we don’t let ourselves down,’ added Root.
‘We want to make sure we turn up and throw everything at Pakistan and leave the Test summer with a brilliant performance under our belt.’
The ECB on Thursday confirmed, as revealed by Sportsmail on Wednesday, that play will begin half an hour early at 10.30am should bad weather affect any days of the final Test. It follows the controversy over avoidable stoppages in the ill-fated second Test.