Paine’s Australia poised for Archer onslaught but hope to ride the storm
Pace bowler set for his Test debut.
Tim Paine believes Australia have seen Jofra Archer at his fastest but admitted there will be occasions when the paceman will prove problematic.
Archer is expected to make his much-anticipated Test debut for England at Lord’s on Wednesday, fresh from a World Cup campaign in which he was the champions’ leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps.
The Barbados-born speedster can exceed 90mph but he is not an unknown quantity for Australia, with Paine pointing out most of his side’s batsmen have either faced him in the World Cup or in a domestic Twenty20 franchise competition.
Paine said: “A lot of our guys have seen Jofra or faced him which is a plus. It’s been in white-ball cricket but we’ve actually faced him in Australia where conditions suit fast bowling.
“We’ve seen him at his fastest, they know what to expect, they know how skilful he is and how good he is.
“Like most bowlers that play Test cricket there will be times where he’s going to be a real threat and we’re going to have to weather that.”
Regarding the omission of Pattinson, Paine revealed he was available for selection but that Australia were taking a broader view with regards to the paceman, whose workload will be managed.
Paine added: “We’ve spoken to our group of bowlers about making sure that we have that core group of bowlers going forward for the next two or three years, they’re all still quite young in age.
“In James’ case in particular he’s come back off a really long lay-off, a really serious operation, and we want to make sure he’s cherry-ripe for the next three or four years.
“I think what we’ve done in the past with James is we’ve got him back, we know how good he is so we keep using him and keep bowling him and eventually he’s broken again.
“We’re really lucky that we’ve got two bowlers on the sidelines that are world-class and we want to make sure James is cherry-ripe every time he plays.”
Starc and Hazlewood were two surprise omissions in Birmingham, with Australia’s four-man frontline attack comprising of Pat Cummins, Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon.
Paine added: “They’re both world-class bowlers and when you leave guys like that out, particularly two of them out at a time, you can see what sort of people they are.
“We’ve been really impressed with both of them. They were both disappointed but they’re both excellent team men.
“It’s always nice from a captaincy point of view when you’ve got two senior, world-class players left out, they cop it on the chin and run drinks and train their backsides’ off at lunch and tea breaks, it sets a really good example for the rest of our team.
“We’re absolutely rapt with the way they’ve gone about it and whichever one of those two we unleash, they’re certainly ready to go.”