JOFRA ARCHER: I'm happy to be a first-change warrior

JOFRA ARCHER: We’d all love the new ball but I’m happy to be a first-change warrior… and James Anderson is phenomenal after reaching 600 wickets

  • I believe I did my job with my bowling in the third Test against Pakistan
  • A fast bowler has to get into a position to be given the choice of taking a new ball
  • I’m happy to be a first-change warrior with Stuart Broad and James Anderson 
  • Credit is due for the phenomenal Jimmy Anderson to get to 600 Test wickets 

Once again, there has been a focus on my role within the team but I try not to pay too much attention to what is said from outside the dressing room.

When I chatted to Joe Root about my bowling, I didn’t feel as though I was doing anything different than any other Test this summer.

I am an attacking bowler by nature, so I didn’t have to think too hard about what was required.

The challenge for any fast bowler is to work as hard as you can and get into a position where you are given the choice of taking the new ball

I tried to repeat what I have done every time I pull on an England shirt. The things that have been working for me.

I felt like the ball was getting through into Jos Buttler’s gloves nicely and that on another pitch things would have gone a lot different.

Obviously, the wicket in Southampton didn’t help me much and I felt it was a hard one to read.

It didn’t feel like I was doing anything on it, to be honest.

But you have to deal with the hand that you have been dealt. I tried and that’s all the captain could ask of anyone. I think I did my job.

I felt much more relaxed about my bowling after chatting to Joe Root, I think I did my job

The challenge for any fast bowler is to work as hard as you can and do what you are asked to do so that you can get into a position where you are given the choice of taking the new ball.

But I am in a team with two world-class bowlers in Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. I have a joke with Chris Woakes that we are the first-change warriors.

Neither of us can bowl any earlier with those two leading our attack but we are a unit, and I am quite happy with what is being asked of me. I am in a good space right now.

I’m happy to be a first-change warrior – in Stuart Broad (L) and James Anderson (R) we have two world-class bowlers  

As an attack we still managed to take 14 wickets in the weather-ruined last Test, so the only thing that stopped us was that we just needed a bit more time.

Without the rain, we definitely would have taken all 20.

That’s just cricket. You’re going to have matches and series like that, there are times when you will be left frustrated but let’s hope that for our next series our luck turns.

Rain pain… but so nice to bat big

The weather in the final Test was disappointing, but you cannot control that and the most important thing was we got the series win.

Sometime in the future we might be on the receiving end of a losing series because of the weather so this scenario was a much better one. I’d definitely take a 1-0 series win in the circumstances. Aside from the result, it was exactly the kind of performance we aim for.

The weather was disappointing in the final Test but the important thing is that we got the win

In team meetings we talk about batting first, batting big and trying to bowl the opposition out twice.

This was by some way the biggest score I have been involved in during my Test career to date and we enforced the follow-on so we were on the way to completing what we set out to do. When you put such a large total on the board it gives you lots of options for later in the game. It was just the rain that prevented us from completing the job.

Now I want some white-ball wickets

We finish the summer with two series against Australia, starting next week, and hopefully the change of formats will coincide with me taking some wickets.

Partly due to my elbow injury last winter and partly due to being rested, I have not played a limited-overs match for England since last year’s World Cup final.

In some ways white-ball cricket suits me more because I find that batters have to come at me — and I am all for the opportunity to get them out.

Our attitude with England and under Eoin Morgan has been not to fear any opponent we face

I view it as a less batter-friendly version of cricket because of the onus on them to go harder, score quicker. Conversely, it is a lot harder to go wicketless for a bowler.

Of course, there is the traditional rivalry of England v Australia but when you are world champions there is an additional element to all matches because everyone is going to be coming for us.

Our attitude under Eoin Morgan has been not to fear any opponent. If we lose, we lose but there is no fear.

We have a very settled team, everyone knows their role and what is expected of them, and there is confidence in each other although, with Covid-19, it might take some players a while to hit their straps.

But we will have the same aim as we do for every series — we play to win.

Jimmy is so great… England is not an easy place to bowl! 

For Jimmy Anderson to get to 600 Test wickets is a truly great achievement. It left me wondering: ‘How do you get 600?’ It’s phenomenal, particularly as a fast bowler.

It is such a physical commitment to bowl fast, without even taking into account the skill required, and I believe people overlook how much you must put in when bowling in England.

Yes, the new ball swings but it only swings for a relatively short time and it is wrong to dismiss this as an easy place to bowl.

The Dukes ball can be helpful in the right conditions but there were plenty of runs scored on that pitch this week — over 1,000 in a rain-reduced contest — so that shows you the other side of bowling here.

Jimmy Anderson deserves credit as getting to 600 Test wickets is a truly great achievement

You have to be consistent, keep a tight line, be patient and keep asking questions. When you have had to do that over such a long period, like Jimmy has, 600 speaks for itself.

It was a great moment for him when he dismissed Azhar Ali, even without a crowd to celebrate with. In fact, coming on the final day of the second of two Test series, it probably didn’t get the team celebration it would have in normal times.

After being in the bubble for 10 weeks, I don’t think any of the guys stayed in the dressing room for more than an hour afterwards. Normally, we would all be sat around together but everyone was understandably keen to get home.

We spent a lot of time together in the lobby of the hotel the previous evening when he was on 599. We ordered some food and chilled for two or three hours. It felt like we were toasting the 600 early, sat around chatting and laughing.

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