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HomeAshesSteve Smith vs Jofra Archer in Tests - Smudge relieved? Nonsense

Steve Smith vs Jofra Archer in Tests – Smudge relieved? Nonsense

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Last Updated on 1 year by Charbel Coorey

Soon after Jofra Archer was ruled out of the 2023 Ashes, sections of the media were quick to state that Steve Smith and co. would be “breathing a huge sigh of relief” that the fast bowler is unavailable.

Nonsense.

Overall in Test cricket, Smith has struck 94 runs off 164 balls against Archer without dismissal.

Yes, Archer bowled a memorable spell at Lord’s in 2019 where he troubled Australia’s great batsman, eventually striking him in a nasty blow that forced Smith to miss the third Test with concussion. However, when push came to shove with the series on the line for England in the fourth Test, Smith destroyed the hosts, scoring 211 and 82 to lead Australia to an urn-retaining victory at Old Trafford.

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Jofra Archer has not dismissed Steve Smith in 164 deliveries of Test cricket.

Funnily enough, Smith had to defend his record of never being dismissed by Archer ahead of that very Test.

“There’s been a bit of talk that he’s got the wood over me, but he hasn’t actually got me out,” Smith said to the media.

“He hit me on the head on a wicket that was a bit up and down at Lord’s. He actually didn’t get me out. All the other bowlers have had more success against me, I daresay.”

How Smith won the battle against Archer and England in 2019

The crowd was buzzing as Smith walked in at 28/2 on the first morning in Manchester. Australia had just lost the unloseable Test at Headingley, and their number four had to face the music against a fired up Archer.

England, no doubt, were in the box seat mentally at that stage.

However, Smith had other ideas. He dodged every (and there were many) short ball attempts, getting back and across and letting the ball sail past his left shoulder. As England toiled away, Smith grew in stature, smacking a double century when the series was at its hottest point. No contest.

This is not to say Archer didn’t bowl brilliantly in 2019. He was outstanding. The tearaway quick took 22 wickets at 20.27 across the series, ambling smoothly to the crease but keeping spectators and batsmen alike on edge.

David Warner averages 8.67 against him. Usman Khawaja 12, Marcus Harris one better at 13. Travis Head is somewhat better at 20. So, for only Smith’s name to be mentioned as news broke of Archer’s unfortunate injury setback was quite surprising given what he had achieved in 2019.

“England paceman @JofraArcher terrorised Australia’s batsmen four years ago. But Steve Smith and co can breathe a huge sigh of relief after an update from England’s medical staff this evening,” read a tweet from Code Cricket.

“Terrorised? Remind me of when I was dismissed by him…” replied Smith.

If by terrorised we only mean the memorable spell at Lord’s, it didn’t bother Smith then. So, he certainly wouldn’t sleep easier now. There is no doubt Australia’s great batsman would have relished the opportunity to face Archer in this year’s highly anticipated Ashes series, but it is unfortunately not to be.

Here’s hoping we get the opportunity to witness the two battle again in whites in the coming years. For now, there are certainly no demons in Smith’s head.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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