‘Archer-Smith duel was incredible theatre’

Last Updated: 25/03/20 7:18pm

Jos Buttler checks on Steven Smith after the Australian was hit by a ball from Jofra Archer on day four of the second Ashes Test

Jos Buttler checks on Steven Smith after the Australian was hit by a ball from Jofra Archer on day four of the second Ashes Test

Jos Buttler checks on Steven Smith after the Australian was hit by a ball from Jofra Archer on day four of the second Ashes Test

England’s Jos Buttler recalls the “incredible theatre and drama” of last year’s Ashes summer, specifically Jofra Archer’s battle with Steve Smith at Lord’s on a ‘lockdown’ Sky Cricket Podcast.

Buttler joined Rob Key, Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton to give his insights into a range of topics including the impact of coronavirus, the IPL and that unforgettable Ashes duel between Archer and Smith.

Listen in the player below, or by downloading here – you can also listen at this link.

“That was Jofra’s first Test – he came with a lot of expectations [on him] but for a guy to produce a spell on debut like he did was quite incredible,” said Buttler.

“Any time we see some of the best Test cricket, it’s always with great fast bowling; Jofra – a new kid on the block bowling extremely fast to the world’s best batsman at Lord’s in an Ashes Test.

0:32 Steve Smith was ruled out of the third Test after suffering concussion but returned for the fourth Test
Steve Smith was ruled out of the third Test after suffering concussion but returned for the fourth Test

“You could just feel that sense of anticipation every time that he ran in and you could see the speedgun getting quicker and quicker. There was that sense of something happening – incredible theatre and incredible drama.

“It was scary because [Smith] got hit on his neck or just beneath. People are very aware of what happened to Phillip Hughes, so there was huge worry for everyone.”

Also on the podcast, Keysey and co also chat to Kent’s first-team coach Matt Walker, plus our pundits answer a selection of your questions on Twitter as they acclimatise to life at home.

Find out how Buttler is passing the time at home, hear his reaction to his Virtual Test runs, who he rates as the best bowler he’s ever faced in a Test match and who he’d rather not be in self-isolation with…

1:36 Jos Buttler says there’s been a joint approach from his county Lancashire and the ECB in the advice they are giving to players during the coronavirus crisis.
Jos Buttler says there’s been a joint approach from his county Lancashire and the ECB in the advice they are giving to players during the coronavirus crisis.

Buttler on government lockdown

“Obviously, very strange circumstances, but it’s actually quite nice to spend some time at home, be with our little girl and actually just be a dad for a bit. I’ve also been doing some Pilates with my Mrs, in my cricket gear.

“The calendar is always so busy, so you’re trying to find times when you can get a bit of a break, so I’m trying to use the time as a positive – although, of course, it’s really unfortunate circumstances and very tough for everyone.”

Is there any update on the IPL?

“No news at the moment. We saw, initially, that it was going to be postponed. It’s very hard to see this changing in the immediate future, so I don’t see that as a possibility at the moment.

“Obviously, it’s such a massive tournament for world cricket, so hopefully some of it can go ahead – perhaps a shortened tournament.”

2:30 Sky Cricket statistician Benedict Bermange explains how the Virtual Test came about, how it works, and whether he expects England to go on and win!
Sky Cricket statistician Benedict Bermange explains how the Virtual Test came about, how it works, and whether he expects England to go on and win!

Buttler’s 86 in Benedict’s Virtual Test

“That couldn’t have gone better, could it? I’m glad it was a virtual game as opposed to a real one. I’ve struggled for runs all winter, but then on a computer, I’ve managed to get 86.”

Who would you least like to self-isolate with?

“Ravi Ashwin, probably. It’s actually a year ago since I got ‘mankaded’ because I keep getting tweeted about it, saying ‘stay safe, don’t go outside’ with those pictures of me.”

Ravi Ashwin 'mankaded' Buttler in last year's Indian Premier League tournament

Ravi Ashwin 'mankaded' Buttler in last year's Indian Premier League tournament

Ravi Ashwin ‘mankaded’ Buttler in last year’s Indian Premier League tournament

Who is the best bowler you’ve faced in Tests?

“I think Pat Cummins. He is express pace, but also relentless with his accuracy. That aggression and that skill level.

“They were a relentless attack [Australia}. They came to England with a very clear plan for that whole series. Josh Hazlewood, Cummins, Nathan Lyon – one of the best offspinners in the world – get them all fit at the same time, they’re a serious team.”

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