Darren Gough - Jofra Archer’s the man for the Ashes and why England were wrong to select James Anderson

editorial image
0
Have your say

There are a couple of players under pressure heading into England’s second Ashes Test – there is no doubt about that.

READ MORE - Yorkshire’s match at Lancashire abandoned

Hopefully, Archer will be the man who can get Steve Smith out, that is the big thing.

Darren Gough on Jofra Archer

The decisions have been made about the batting order and Jos Buttler will be at five purely as a batsman and if he does not get runs at Lord’s, he will be under pressure.

Similarly, if Jonny Bairstow does not get runs at No 7 or keep well, he will be under pressure from Ben Foakes.

Then there is Joe Denly. He is a terrific kid and I have a lot of time for him.

He probably thinks he has won the lottery playing Test cricket, but saying that, I hope he turns up in the second Test at Lord’s and gets a hundred.

I think if you were really honest and sat down with him, he would probably be surprised he is in the side.

A fair few people are calling for Joe Root’s head already as captain after the loss at Edgbaston and that is a bit harsh for me.

He is a fantastic talent and I would like people to just keep getting behind Joe. I think it is unnecessary criticism that he is getting at the moment.

He is a great player and I am sure he will be a great captain.

The Lord’s pitch will be interesting and England need green pitches to win as most of our bowlers have not the pace they once had and need help.

But Moeen Ali looks totally out of sorts.

I am a massive fan of Moeen, but I think he is totally lacking any confidence. His action was all over the shop and there was no consistency in the first Test.

He has a lot of confidence issues. If he was getting runs, you would think that his confidence would come back, but he is not as he is suspect to Nathan Lyon and we are going to have to bring in the left-armer Jack Leach – with Jofra Archer coming in for James Anderson.

Hopefully, Archer will be the man who can get Steve Smith out, that is the big thing. We have got to find a way and I’d like to see a bowler come wide at the crease at him and change the angles.

For us, it was a shocking Test match after being in such a good position after having Australia at 120-8 in the first innings.

We got totally outplayed as the game went on in Birmingham.

I worked on Sky Sports on Sunday and while Bob Willis said England could defend for the draw on the final day, I said: ‘Not a chance.’ I could see how it was turning.

When you have a proper spinner as they have with Lyon, it makes such a difference and he was all over us and will have been fancying his chances of a five-fer. Unfortunately for us, we have a spinner who has no confidence. Moeen seems half the man and a lot of cricketers go through this.

But looking back, I think the James Anderson injury played such a massive part.

He is such a good bowler and big player. But I personally did not think he should have played.

When you are getting older – and I know this as I have been through similar things – you want to play every game as you think it might be your last series.

If I had been asked the same question, I would have wanted to play. He is close to 600 wickets, so would have wanted to play in what could be his last series.

But I do not think it will be now as he is desperate to get to 600. If we’d have won the Ashes and he had got 600, I think he would have called it a day. But now I think he might go to New Zealand and South Africa.

But when Jimmy did not play against Ireland, I felt he should not play in the first Test as he had such a good record at Lord’s.

Now, we are going to miss him for Lord’s and Headingley, which would have been pitches that would have suited him. He would have made a huge difference.

To beat Australia, we are going to have to play on green pitches which are helpful and Jimmy is our best bowler. On flat pitches, their batsmen are better suited to it and their bowlers are more likely to bowl us out.

Jimmy should not have gone into the first Test having had just a couple of nets. He will be a huge loss, but it could have been avoided. By the time he is back, we might have lost the series.

Archer had to play second-team cricket to prove he is fit and I think it has to be the same rule for a senior player. The older you are, the harder it is to come back from these type of injuries Jimmy has. He should have had some kind of practice game.

Playing him could be the big moment in the series already. Think of 2005 when Glenn McGrath twisted his ankle, people still talk about that now.