Archer’s taming of Warner hits the bullseye for England

Australia, marshalled by Justin Langer of the serious mien, did not come to England merely to win the 20- and 50-over series. They came to win the propaganda and phoney wars ahead of next November's Ashes.

It has not worked out that way, thanks principally to Jofra Archer and Eoin Morgan's maximisation of him. In England's 2-1 victory in the Twenty20 series Archer did his share. In the second one-dayer, which levelled the ODI series and set up Wednesday's decider at Old Trafford, Archer was player of the match.

Jofra Archer celebrates the dismissal of David Warner in the second ODI.Credit:Getty Images

Langer brought Josh Hazlewood out of mothballs, so Australia could field their three-man Test pace attack in the ODIs and demoralise England, and Australia's new-ball bowling has overwhelmed England's top order: 2-22 in the first 10-over powerplay, 2-32 in the second.

Hazlewood has done his impersonation of a tank rolling down the ramp off a troopship, while Mitchell Starc has conventionally swung the new ball, before reversing the old, but Archer has been faster than Hazlewood, generated steeper bounce than Starc and bowled a more accurate line than Pat Cummins.

And if Australia's fast bowlers wanted to score points, none has been so dramatic as that which Archer scored at the expense of Marcus Stoinis. Australia's all-rounder has not played a Test, and may never do so now, but it was still the snorter of all short balls that had him fending like a startled rabbit or an England batsman facing West Indies in the 1980s. That sort of dismissal, and image, lodges in many a memory.

Archer, 25, has also kept the lid on Australia's opening batsman David Warner, and if you do not want to be bullied all the way around Australia in 14 months' time, the place to start – apart from knocking over Steve Smith as Archer did in the last Ashes – is the subjugation of Warner.

Archer bowls as Warner watches on.Credit:Getty Images

Stuart Broad did a comprehensive demolition job last summer from around the wicket. Archer, mainly from over the wicket, has drawn back his bow and fired three arrows into the bullseye, dismissing Warner overall four times in their four white-ball encounters.

Not that Archer talks the language of duels and vendettas. "White ball is a totally different game to Test cricket. It's going to be a red Kookaburra instead of a red Dukes [the ball England use at home]. It's a whole different challenge. I don't think he [Warner] will be worried too much.

"I'm not getting too excited either. I'll deal with that when I get there, if I get there."

While accepting that social media has become less abusive, if only through the threat of prosecution, Archer is clearly sensitive to the suggestion that he is not trying because he does not bowl flat out in every spell in Tests.

"That time I spend bowling with the white ball is a lot less than in Test cricket. You can't run in the whole day. It is actually impossible to run in the whole day bowling at 90mph [145kmph]. If you can show me someone who does it, then fair play. I've not seen any bowler who bowls 90mph do it for a whole day."

It might be that England's white-ball squad under Morgan are more developed and relaxed than the Test squad under Joe Root, who has been captain half the time that Morgan has. But Archer was not tempted to make the comparison.

"It might be different environments as well, a change of scenery or a change of personnel. You do sometimes feel like you hit a wall. Sometimes you just need to relax or just need to switch your mind off for a few days.

"I honestly don't know what it is, but if you're in a good frame of mind, I feel you'll probably bowl a bit faster. Sometimes pace isn't the answer. In the second one-dayer I didn't feel as though I was bowling that fast. At times, I felt I've bowled faster, so I don't know if the [speed] guns are turned up or what. For me, as long as I feel good, I don't care what speed I'm bowling."

"We always stick to the plan, it doesn't matter how fast you bowl, it's just sticking to the plan. If we've decided to bowl in the channel, bowl straight, bowl short, we commit and stick to the plan."

Morgan, in turn, described Archer as "awesome" after his match-winning bowling. Amazing what can be done when Archer is given the new ball, and the first over, and installed as England's No.1.

The Telegraph, London

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