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Archer's fiery spell reminds Ponting of 2005 Ashes

August 18, 2019 16:39 IST

Former Australia captain Ponting compared the spell with the one England's Steve Harmison bowled during the famous 2005 Ashes series, in which he hit Australian openers Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer before leaving the former skipper with a bloodied cheek.

Australia's Steve Smith is struck by a delivery from England's Jofra Archer on Day 4 of the 2nd Ashes Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Sunday 

IMAGE: Australia's Steve Smith is struck by a delivery from England's Jofra Archer on Day 4 of the 2nd Ashes Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Ricky Ponting said Jofra Archer's hostile spell against Australia at Lord's on Day 4 of the second Ashes Test against England reminded him of the opening morning of the famous 2005 series at the same venue which had left him with a bloodied cheek.

Archer dished out a fiery spell on Saturday, leaving Steve Smith on the ground after being struck on the unprotected back of his neck by a bouncer clocking 92.4 miles per hour.

Ponting compared the spell with the one England's Steve Harmison bowled during the famous 2005 Ashes series, in which he hit Australian openers Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer before leaving the former skipper with a bloodied cheek.

 

"That was a really fiery morning and last night brought back a few memories of what it was like," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"I remember when I got hit, I think 'Vaughny' (England captain Michael Vaughan) said to his players, 'no-one go and say a word to him and check if he is OK', which was fine by me, because my eyes were going a bit as it was, so I reckon I would have told them to get away in no uncertain terms anyway!"

Archer's body blow forced Smith to retire hurt while batting at 80. He, however, returned in less than an hour to take the crease and was eventually dismissed when he shouldered arms to a straight ball from Chris Woakes, just eight runs short of a century.

Ponting, however, said it won't define the Test match and an experienced Smith won't have any fear when he takes guard against Archer next time.

"I don't think it will be a series-defining spell. He has made 92 again. I know he'd made 70 or so before he copped that first knock ... and I wouldn't be surprised if they do attack him a bit more now," said Ponting.

"But the one thing I like is that Archer didn't get Smith out. Smithy got through it without losing his wicket. Assuming everything is OK with that blow in the neck, he'll front up and do it all again in the second innings."

The legendary Australian batsman said Smith coming back to bat might seem incredibly courageous to the average person sitting back and watching it, but that's what is expected of a Test batsman.

"He (Smith) won't have any fear because it's just what you do every day. You face bowlers in the nets every day and you get hit every now and then. But certainly nothing changes in your mindset," Ponting said.

Shoaib Akhtar criticises Archer for not checking on Smith

Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar criticised England pacer Jofra Archer for not checking on Australian batsman Steve Smith after striking him on the neck by a bouncer.

"Bouncers are a part & parcel of the game but whenever a bowler hits a batsman on the head and he falls, courtesy requires that the bowler must go & check on him. It was not nice of Archer to just walk away while Smith was in pain. I was always the first one to run to the batsman," Akhtar tweeted on Sunday.

Smith had to deal with two blows on day four of the second Test match at Lord's Cricket Ground. Firstly he was struck on the elbow by Archer and soon after he received a striking blow on the neck by a bouncer bowled by the pacer and he immediately went down.

Physios from both England and Australia attended to Smith, but the batsman had to leave the park in order to have a concussion test. A little while later, the batsman made his way back to the crease, but a section of England crowd was seen booing the player.

Smith went on to play a knock of 92 runs against England in the first innings of the second Test match.

The right-handed batsman has been in a rich vein of form as he struck centuries in both innings of the first Test match. He became only the fifth Australian to score centuries in both innings of Ashes Test.

He also surpassed Indian skipper Virat Kohli to become the second-fastest batsman to register 25 Test centuries.

Ever since, Australia landed in England to play the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup and Ashes, Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been subjected to boos from the England crowd.

The trio was involved in a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018 and this resulted in the players getting suspended for one year.

In the ongoing second Test of the Ashes, England will resume day five at 96/4 with a lead of 104 in the second innings.

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