Scary Jofra sighting puts Aussies on high alert
The spectators sitting on park benches watching Jofra Archer rip through the Gloucestershire second XI were a solid indicator he was a long way from the Ashes cauldron.
But the six wickets England's World Cup hero took, including two which sent several stumps flying, were enough evidence to suggest the Aussie batsmen should get ready for him at Lord's.
The match, played on the quaint Blackstone Academy Ground at Woodman Cote, was 24-year-old Archer's second match in a week following a stint in Barbados to heal a side strain.
Archer also fielded during the first Test at Edgbaston and, after blasting an 80-ball 100 in the afternoon after his 6-24, has now seemingly ticked every box possible to replace Anderson, who was officially ruled out with a strained calf.
The second Test would be Archer's first and while the world is familiar with his white ball work, his 131 first class wickets, at an average of just over 23 each, points to him being handy with the red ball, too.
Speaking before the series Australia coach Justin Langer said he was well aware of the threat Archer posed. But he was also keen to point out Archer had never put his talents to work in the Test match arena.
Jofra Archer’s century highlights for Sussex 2nd XI against Gloucs.— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 6, 2019
He’s quite a cricketer. pic.twitter.com/2QbSjQZczB
"He's a very talented bowler but Test cricket is a different kettle of fish. It's going to take great endurance for all the players, not just Jofra," Langer said.
"The beauty of Test cricket is that's what it is: a test of everything, physical, mental, technical."
Among Archer's six scalps for Sussex was a 22-ball stretch which yielded 4-5 as his team rolled the opposition for just 79.
England captain Joe Root also said they would be very "calculated" in their selection for Lord's having lost 37-year-old Anderson, who was playing his first match for a month after a calf issue, on day one.
"We've got to go about it in a very calculated manner, as we did with Jimmy," he said.
"With Jofra, we're in a slightly different situation where he'll have played a lot of cricket in between and we'll have a clearer idea of where he's at.
"We'll turn up to Lord's and make sure in the next few days we don't make any shotgun decisions. We're very clear about how we're going to select the squad and go from there."
Sussex coach, and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie, said Archer was ready to play at Edgbaston, and would "100 per cent" play at Lord's.