Still learning how to get the best out of Archer, says Joe Root

London: After winning the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia by 135 runs, England skipper Joe Root praised Jofra Archer saying he is still learning how to get the best out of the pacer.

Archer managed to take six wickets in the first innings of the Test. He did not manage to take any wicket in the second innings, but he kept on bothering batsmen with short-pitched deliveries.

The pacer eventually went on to take 22 wickets in the series.

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“When I faced him in the nets against the red ball, it was clear he was going to be something special. But we have got to be careful of expecting too much of him. He is a young guy at the start of his career, playing in three formats, and he is still learning. I am still learning how to get the best out of him as captain,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Root as saying.

“He has come in and been fantastic, four Test matches, two six-for’s. He has a way of having a huge impact on the game, you saw his spell here, it just changed the whole atmosphere of the ground, was incredible really. For someone right at the beginning of his career to have such a gift is entertaining, it is great to be able to captain that and I am very much looking forward to the rest of his journey,” he added.

Archer, made his debut in the second Test of the Ashes series at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. In his very first match, he was involved in an intense battle with Australia’s Steve Smith.

He went on to bowl a bouncer which hit Smith on the neck and as a result, he had to be ruled out of the match and the third Test. Marnus Labuschagne had come in as Smith’s concussion substitute.

Archer’s workload has been severely debated throughout the series. The pacer bowled 156 overs in the Ashes. Root said the pacer will not always bowl at 90mph and people need to understand that.

“But one thing you can expect is he is going to entertain and make things happen. At times he is not going to bowl at 90mph, but he will go at two-and-a-half an over and create chances. I think making sure we don’t expect him to average 12 is something really important, while also knowing he’s got that ability to turn a game,” Root said.

With the win in the last Test, England managed to end the series as a 2-2. However, despite the win, the Three Lions lost the urn as Australia retained the Ashes after having won the previous series in 2017/18.

Talking about the series scoreline, Root said: “It looks a hell of a lot better than 3-1, that is for sure. I think it is probably a fair result over the whole series. People might disagree with that, but you look at Lord’s and things could have been very different after that game. You can look at ifs and buts – if Jimmy Anderson was still playing things might have been slightly different”.

“We didn’t do enough to win it back but we have certainly put in a performance this week, which meant a huge amount. To level this series I think it was really important for us as a side, and we’ll take a lot from it moving into the winter,” he added.

The skipper called the summer of cricket successful as the team managed to win their first 50-over World Cup and then draw the Ashes.

England had defeated New Zealand in the finals to lift their first 50-over World Cup. The match and super over had ended as a super over, but the Three Lions were adjudged winners based on the boundary countback rule.

“That World Cup was incredible, for it to finish how it did and across the board, there were some fantastic contests. To be backed up by such an evenly matched Ashes series, again we were blessed with brilliant support throughout but the cricket itself was gripping, quite hard to be involved in at times, especially when you were on the wrong end of it,” Root said.

“But what a summer of cricket it has been, I think a huge success for English cricket and we have got a great opportunity now to spring the game forward in this country,” he added.

After being set a target of 399, Australia was bundled out for 263 runs in the final innings. Matthew Wade was the top-scorer for Aussies as he played a knock of 117 runs whereas Stuart Broad scalped four wickets for England.

England will next tour New Zealand for a five-match T20I and two-match Test series.

The first T20I will be played on November 1.

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