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‘Archer trump card for England in Ashes’

Australian legend Steve Waugh says Jofra Archer will hold the key to guide England to an away Ashes win in 2021-22.

I can't bowl 90mph Ashes spells all the time... it's unrealistic : Jofra Archer

Archer has been a lethal bowler for England since he burst into the scene. In his debut Test series against Australia at home in 2019, he claimed 20 wickets at 20.27. He troubled the Aussies wirh his pace, and had created a scary scene of flooring Steve Smith on the pitch at Lord’s.

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With the Ashes series now returning to Australia, Waugh believes the conditions will suit Archer.

“I think the key for England is Jofra Acher really. He’s something different and will enjoy the pace and bounce of the Australian wickets and is potentially a world class bowler,” he said during the ‘Road To The Ashes’ podcast on Fox Cricket.

Archer’s ability to make things happen with pace reminded Waugh of West Indies great Curtly Ambrose at first sight.

“The first time I saw him I thought (he) looked very similar to the first time I saw Curtly Ambrose, in that he has the ability to lift an extra gear and he can make things happen quickly.

“So he really to me is a trump card for England’s chances in Australia,” Waugh added.

Batting remains a worry for both sides. Australia had only three men – Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and skipper Tim Paine – to average over 40 in the Border-Gavaskar series against India last season.

While England struggled in the past two away Ashes, their recent form also does not speak in favour.

Waugh said both Australia and England have to set their minds to pile 600-plus runs across both innings and give the bowlers a chance to take 20 wickets in a match.

“I think Australia and England have very similar line-ups at the moment; they need to score 600 runs at least in the match over the two innings to give themselves a chance,” he said.

“Both batting orders have been a bit brittle over the last six to 12 months and England – like Australia – need to get 600 runs on the board across both innings and then both teams are capable of bowling the opposition out twice, so it’s really up to the batters to lay the platform.

“For England they need a really good first innings total and it’s exactly the same for Australia. I see this being a very even contest.”

The Ashes remains with Australia, who won 4-0 at home in 2017-18 and drew 2-2 in England in 2019. England will not only look to take the urn back but also repeat the 2010-11 feat when Alastair Cook’s men were victorious Down Under.

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