Joe Root may have unearthed a secret weapon in the attempt to turn the series against India in England’s favour in the final Test in Ahmedabad – Jofra Archer’s left-arm spin.
The ambidextrous Sussex paceman is known to often warm up on the morning of a match with a bit of slow left-arm and he admitted last night that he had been bowling it in training as England seek to level the series 2-2.
Archer said: “I haven’t been called upon yet but I’ve been bowling it in the nets. I haven’t taken any wickets with it yet but I’ve turned Zak [Crawley] around a couple of times.
“But if there’s anywhere in the world that I’m going to get to bowl it, I’m going to get to bowl it here [India].”
Don’t laugh – no one would have foreseen Root taking five for eight in six overs a week or so ago. And does Archer need to be able to turn it anyway on the evidence from the third Test, when 21 of the 30 wickets to fall went to straight deliveries.
It’s an interesting prospect: Archer, whose ability to bowl spin first came to light in practice sessions during the 2019 Ashes, could become one of the first bowlers to replace himself, turning to left-arm after a few brisk overs early in the innings.
Archer, who made his comments from his hotel room in a Q and A with Barmy Army TV, was also asked what was going through his mind during the Super Over he bowled in the World Cup final victory over New Zealand. England won when Jos Buttler whipped off the bails as Martin Guptill tried desperately to make his ground going for a second run against the accuracy of Jason Roy’s throw from deep midwicket.
Archer replied: “Not a lot. I was blank. After they [Jimmy Neesham] hit the six I couldn’t really hear anything. Obviously I was at the non-striker’s end and from where I was standing it looked like he [Guptill] made his ground. So then we saw the replay [on the big screen] and he wasn’t even in the frame and we knew.”
Also questioned over the fashion sense of his team-mates, he was unequivocal in naming Tom Curran as the worst dresser.
“Tom Curran, 100 per cent,” he said. “You’re excused in the bubble to be honest but when we’re out and about, TC, no doubt.”