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England v Pakistan

‘Too much noise’ – Gillespie says Archer debate is being blown out of proportion

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

Jason Gillespie, the former Australia paceman and the outgoing Sussex head coach, has weighed in on the debate surrounding Jofra Archer and his best role in the England attack.

The talk around Archer and his role in this England attack gained traction during the third England-Pakistan Test in Southampton, when he was the only England bowler to fail to take a wicket as Pakistan were bowled out for 273 in their first innings.

Archer reached some serious speeds though, breaking the 90mph barrier on occasion, but the wickets eluded him. However, Gillespie, who was Archer’s coach at Sussex, said he wouldn’t read too much into it.

“It’s very simple,” he told BBC Five Live. “I think he can be top of off, occasional very good bouncer, occasional very good yorker – he does that often enough, he’s going to have a long and successful England career. Make no bones about that.

“There are going to be times – all bowlers have it – when they are giving their all, and the speed gun is saying 85-86 mph, and there are other days when they are giving their all and the speed gun is saying 92. So, I wouldn’t look too much into that.

“Jofra is a very competitive young man, he loves playing for England, he is excited about it, he’s energised by it. I think he’s a fine bowler. There is too much noise about what bowler he is.

“He is a quality Test match bowler and as you know, the best bowlers own that spot on the pitch, the size of about a shoebox, and they hit that shoebox more often than other bowlers. Look at [James] Anderson – he’s on 599 Test wickets by pitching the ball up and moving it off the straight, at mid-80mph. It’s not rocket science. Keep it simple, and know the basic skills.”

Archer took four wickets in the Pakistan series, all coming in the first Test in Manchester. In the preceding series against West Indies, he picked up four wickets in two matches, too.

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