The quest for bowlers to consolidate a spot in England’s playing XI intensified with the likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood putting up impressive displays on Day 2 of the warm-up match in Southampton.
The England players wore black armbands as a tribute to Sir Everton Weekes who passed away aged 95 tried showcasing their mettle in the lead up to the first Test against West Indies. It is slated to start from July 8 and also marks the return of international cricket following the Covid-19 pandemic.
After Butler XI declared their innings on 287 for 5, Archer and Wood troubled Team Stokes’ opening pair Keaton Jennings and Dom Sibley with pace and bounce. Jofra Archer picked up two wickets including Sibley and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to complete his well-crafted 12-over spell last night. The Barbadian banked the scalp of Sibley with a sublime delivery which was caught behind while flicking the ball down leg-side.
Archer and Mark Wood combined for the first time since their World Cup victory to come up with a fiery spell on the morning of Day 2 at the Ageas Bowl. Wood bowled 4 maidens in his 11-over spell, sparing just 14 runs while picking the prized scalp of Jonny Bairstow.
In the interim, England allrounder Sam Curran is awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test after showing symptoms and has been placed in self-isolation.
England’s leading pacers Archer, Wood and Woakes are in the race as England will announce their squad for the first Test after the 3-day practice match. With James Anderson claiming 2 wickets for Team Buttler on Wednesday and Broad and Ben Stokes likely to make the playing XI, the competition for the 3rd fast bowler spot has indeed spiced up.