Sussex cricketer Jofra Archer’s incredible debut performance has undoubtedly taken pace bowling to the next level.
England head coach Trevor Bayliss, from New South Wales, knows all about the Australian love affair with quick bowlers and is fascinated to see their reaction to Archer’s rapid spells.
“The Aussies have not been backward in coming forward in that respect in years gone by and it will be good to see the shoe on the other foot,” he said.
“It will add a different dynamic to how they play. From an English point of view, it is good that it is experiencing what the English batters did facing (Brett) Lee, (Mitchell) Johnson, (Dennis) Lillee and (Jeff) Thomson. It is not impossible to play that but it gets your attention.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s head coach Justin Langer has told his bowlers not to let their egos draw them into a battle of the bouncers at Headingley, after Steve Smith was ruled out of the third Ashes Test with concussion.
Smith has been undergoing constant medical assessments since showing delayed symptoms the day after being hit in the neck by a 92mph Jofra Archer delivery at Lord’s, and has been told his recovery plan will not allow him to be involved when the contest resumes on Thursday.
Archer’s pace and hostility on debut lit a fuse under the series, which the tourists lead 1-0, as the 24-year-old also struck Matthew Wade and Marnus Labuschagne on the helmet and routinely bowled well above 90mph.
Australia have been no shrinking violets in terms of using speed as a weapon in the past and, with Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc all well capable of bowling quickly they could easily attempt to fight fire with fire.
Langer, though, wants a dispassionate display.
“We know what our plans are to beat England. What we’re not going to do is get caught up an an emotional battle of who’s going to bowl the quickest bouncers,” he said.
“We’re here to win the Test match, not to see how many helmets we can hit. We keep talking about it ... you’ve got to play on skill, not emotion, and it’s hard for young players, even senior players.
“You can get caught up in the atmosphere, you can get caught up in the contest. But it’s not an ego game. We’re here to win the Test match, not to see how many bruises we can give, that’s not winning Test matches, trust me, you can’t get out with a bruise on your arm.
“I’m sure the bouncer will still be part of every bowler’s armoury, if it helps us get batsmen out then we’ll use it, otherwise we’ll keep sticking to the plan.”