The ongoing Ashes series has created quite a stir in the world of cricket. Some extraordinary performances in the two Test matches held so far at Edgbaston and Lord's have dazzled cricket fans worldwide. The top-notch competition has been winning hearts all over and has brought to the world some classic bowler-batsman clashes, the most recently being the Jofra Archer-Steve Smith skill battle.
Post a 251-run defeat by Australia at Edgbaston, England included Jofra Archer in the fiinal eleven after their strike bowler James Anderson got injured. Making his Test debut at the Home of cricket, Lord's to fill the shoes of the legend Anderson, was no small feat, but he lived up to the hype with aplomb.
Archer came out all guns blazing and put Australian batsmen in hot waters with his incredible pace, accuracy and aggression and he scalped 5 wickets in his Test debut.
There was one incident that left the spectators and audience watching worldwide in serious concern. Steve Smith, while batting on 80 on the 4th day, was hit on the side of his neck by a viciously pacey delivery of 92.4 mph by Archer that made Smith fall to the ground.
Amidst severe pain and a through checkup by the physios, he had to walk away from the ground to undergo a concussion test. Showing amazinggrit and determination, Smith returned to bat later on. In the meantime, Archer was heavily criticized because when the entire team rushed to check on Smith, he didn’t go up to Smith and was seen sharing a laugh with teammate Jos Buttler.
Archer opened up to the world through BBC. He said, “To see him go down, everyone stopped and everyone’s heart skipped a beat. After he got up he was moving around and you breathe a sigh of relief."
"No-one wants to see anyone getting carried off on a stretcher or you don’t want to see anyone missing a day or another game. Especially what happened a few years ago (referring to Phil Hughes incident) as well. It’s never a nice sight.”, he added.
Archer didn't show any signs of stopping during the 4th innings as well when Marcus Labuschagne took the willow instead of Steve Smith as the first-ever concussion replacement. The very first delivery he faced by a frightening bouncer by Archer that brought him flat on the ground after the ball hit his helmet.
Also read – Ashes Most catches