Get the app

Ashes 2019 | 'Everyone's Heart Skipped a Beat' - Archer Recollects Smith's Nasty Blow

Jofra Archer was criticised by sections of social media for not checking on Steve Smith after a bouncer struck the batsman on his neck, but the England pacer said his heart skipped a beat when he saw Smith go down on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord's.

Cricketnext Staff |August 18, 2019, 4:45 PM IST
Ashes 2019 | 'Everyone's Heart Skipped a Beat' - Archer Recollects Smith's Nasty Blow

Jofra Archer was criticised by sections of social media for not checking on Steve Smith after a bouncer struck the batsman on his neck, but the England pacer said his heart skipped a beat when he saw Smith go down on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord's.

In a menacing spell of fast short-pitched bowling, Archer hit Smith twice - first on his forearm before forcing Smith to retire hurt on 80 with a sharp bouncer. The way Smith went down brought back memories of Phil Hughes' unfortunate death, and Archer said he breathed a sigh of relief only when his Rajasthan Royals captain got back on his feet.

"To see him go down, everyone stopped and everyone's heart skipped a beat," Archer told the BBC. "After he got up and he was moving around, you breathe a sigh of relief."

"Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking at the time," he then told Sky Sports. "Seeing someone go down, you don't ever want to see anyone getting carried off in a stretcher or you don't want to see anyone missing a day or another game.

"Especially what happened a few years ago as well. It's never a nice sight."

Archer stressed his only aim through the short-ball barrage was to get Smith out.

"I was trying to get him out," said Archer. "We had a short leg, we had a leg slip. He's good at working the ball off his hips and if one bounced a little bit it, can go to short leg or to one of the guys waiting.

"I think he's had a lot of that all series, a lot of balls haven't gone to hand, always landing in the gap.

"Yesterday it was just rare seeing him get out without scoring a hundred as well. I was telling the guys yesterday I don't think I've ever seen him get out on his own accord til yesterday. I just tried to get him rattled."

Smith returned to bat soon after and was dismissed on 92 by Chris Woakes. Archer had figures of 29-11-59-2 in his debut Test innings.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
see more