England quick Jofra Archer said the drop in his pace on Thursday – compared to his speeds last summer – was “not deliberate”.
Archer finished with figures of 3-59 in Pakistan’s first innings of the first Test at Old Trafford, and was on a hat-trick at one stage of day two as the visitors were bowled out for 326.
After play, Archer was questioned by Sky regarding a drop in his pace on day two in comparison to what he exhibited in his debut international summer – according to CricViz, Archer’s highest average pace in a Test remains that from his debut (87.5mph); his average pace in the ongoing Test is 84.3mph.
After taking his maiden Test five-for in last year’s Headingley Test, Archer admitted to deliberately bowling slower to take advantage of the conditions on offer, although he said that was not the case on Thursday.
“It’s not deliberate,” Archer said of the drop in his pace on day two. “It’s not every day that you’re going to bowl 90 miles an hour. I’ve seen the other guy [Naseem] Shah started bowling 90 [mph] today, so we’ll see how he goes on tomorrow or later on in the afternoon. No-one is a robot. So I’ll be interested to see what he can produce a bit later. This wicket is not a wicket you’re really going to try and bend your back on.”
Archer’s final summary of three wickets came after Shan Masood – who hit his third consecutive Test century – and Shadab Khan frustrated the fielding side with a sixth-wicket partnership of 105, running plenty of quick singles in the post-lunch session.
“I think we bowled well as a unit,” Archer added. “I just don’t think we had a lot of luck. Obviously they batted well and they put on some pressure after lunch as well. I think for the team, if we bowl that same way again in another Test, we probably have them eight or nine down in two or three sessions.”
“I wouldn’t say it caught us out,” Archer said of the quick singles taken by Pakistan. “Most of those singles were a bit suicidal and it only takes one direct hit and then who knows? I think they were very lucky with the running as well.”