Former Australia captain Steve Waugh feels that Jofra Archer would be the key for England if they have to return home with the urn later this year from Australia.
Tim Paine’s side will host Joe Root’s team for the high-profile 5-Test Ashes series scheduled for December this year. Australia is the current holder of the urn having retained it with a 2-2 draw in England, after winning it at home in the series before that.
Steve Waugh says Archer reminded him of a young Curtly Ambrose. He reckons the speedster will have a crucial role in the Three Lions’ chances for the series Down Under.
Archer, who picked 22 wickets at 20.27 in his debut Ashes series in 2019, has now made his return to professional cricket after battling a hand and elbow injury on the tour of India. In his latest appearance for Sussex against Kent, the pacer scalped out two wickets in his opening spell, demonstrating a return to fitness.
“He’s something different and will enjoy the pace and bounce of the Australian wickets and is potentially a world-class bowler,” Steve Waugh said on Road To The Ashes podcast.
“The first time I saw him, I thought he looked very similar to the first time I saw Curtly Ambrose [former West Indies pace bowler], in that he has the ability to lift an extra gear and he can make things happen quickly.
“So, for me, he really is a trump-card for England’s chances in Australia. I think the key player is Jofra Archer,” he added.
Both batting orders have been a bit brittle over the last six to 12 months: Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh opines that it would be the batting of both the teams that will decide the course of the Ashes as while their bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets, batters on both sides haven’t fared well enough recently. Both England and Australia lost their last Test series to India.
While England has big summer planned with 2 Test versus New Zealand followed by a 5-Test series against India. On the other hand, the Aussies will have only the one-off Test at home versus Afghanistan before the Ashes.
“Both batting orders have been a bit brittle over the last six to 12 months and England – like Australia – need to get 600 runs on the board across both innings and then both teams are capable of bowling the opposition out twice, so it’s really up to the batters to lay the platform,” Steve Waugh, 55, stated.