Jofra Archer has proved to be quite the addition to English cricket since making his international debut earlier this summer. After starring in the team's historic World Cup triumph, and making a fiery Test debut at Lord's, Archer also displayed his funny side.
The Barbados-born all-rounder, in this case, decided to showcase his imitation skills during a practice session ahead of the start of Day 1 of the third Test against Australia in the ongoing Ashes.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 22, 2019
Archer was in the nets with the bat in his hand, practicing his timing and leaving skills, and decided to imitate the batting style of a certain Steven Peter Devereux Smith. Archer particularly impressed with his imitation of Smith's trademark leaves — which sees the Australian run-machine do a little jig in his follow through after a defensive block or a leave.
Smith, who scored back-to-back hundreds at Edgbaston, was once again posing a major threat to the Englishmen in the second Test and looked certain to collect a third consecutive century. However, a vicious spell from Archer, one in which the seamer averaged in excess of 90 mph, changed the course of the match.
Smith was forced to leave the field after getting struck on the neck by a snorter — one that saw him fall prone on the ground right after impact — and was eventually dismissed for 92 after returning to bat. He then failed the concussion test, and couldn't take the field or walk out to bat for the remainder of the match, paving the way for Marnus Labuschagne to become the first-ever concussion substitute in the sport.
Smith was also subsequently ruled out of the third Test having not entirely recovered from the blow. Labuschagne replaced him in the starting eleven at No 4 and the visitors also brought Marcus Harris as the opener in place of Cameron Bancroft, as well as James Pattinson in place of Peter Siddle as the third pacer in the XI. England had earlier announced an unchanged squad and opted to bat after winning the toss at Headingley.
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The ECB said the priority was to ensure the tour can take place "with conditions for players and management to perform at their best."
Joe Root's team are due to play a five-Test series starting in Brisbane on 8 December, with further matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Following a breakthrough in talks with Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday said they had given "conditional approval" for the tour to go ahead.