Steve Smith has hit back at the suggestion he was 'terrorised' by quick Jofra Archer after England copped a huge Ashes blow before the first Test. England great Michael Atherton said Archer would be 'distraught' after he was ruled out of the penultimate cricket series due to a stress fracture in his elbow.
Archer has been struggling with an elbow injury for quite some time having recently underdone surgery during the Indian Premier League season. Not only will Archer miss the Ashes, which starts on 16 June at Edgbaston, but he is now a doubt for the One Day World Cup later this year.
The news comes as a huge blow for both Archer and England with captain Ben Stokes pointing to the fast bowler's speed as a potential X-factor ahead of the five-test series. Atherton said Archer would be feeling the pain after missing out on England's squad.
"He'd be absolutely distraught. To be injured ahead of an Ashes summer, which every English cricketer would want to play in the Ashes," Atherton said on Sky Sports. "This is on the back of a couple of years where this injury has kept reoccurring...kept him out of top level cricket. "It is lonely place to be when you are injured."
England assistant coach Rob Key said Archer could take solace in Australian captain Pat Cummins' injury comeback as an example of how strong he can return. Cummins made his debut for Australia in 2011, but waited six years to make his second appearance for the country.
However, Cummins is widely regarded as the best fast bowler in the world and is now captain of his nation.
“People like Pat Cummins missed a lot of cricket at the early stage of his career,” Key said about Archer. “Now Australia have seen the benefit, he’s been able to put season after season together.
"Jofra deserves a bit of luck. The poor lad is pretty distraught with what’s happened, you just hope that luck turns for him at some point. It’s going to be a fairly taxing road to go down to get this fixed, but I’m sure we’ll see him back at some point.
“We’re going to look at every single thing we’ve done [in terms of rehab and workload]. Everything we’ve done has been what we thought was the right thing for the player first, not actually for anyone else. Just what was the best way for him to have the best career he could possibly have. And that’s not worked out. We’ll look at every single thing.”
Steve Smith takes cheeky swipe at Ashes dig
While England have been dealt the bitter blow, Smith hit back at a headline that the Aussies were 'terrorised' by Archer in the 2019 Ashes series. Smith is over playing in the County Championship for Sussex to prepare for the Test Championship final and the series against England next month.
Fans were keen to see Archer and Smith reignite their historic battle from the 2019 Ashes series. Smith produced one of the best series' in cricket history having scored 774 runs at an average of 110.54 in England.
Terrorised? 🤔 remind me when I was dismissed by him….
— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) May 16, 2023
England struggled to stop Smith until an Archer bouncer in the second test concussed the Australian in scary scenes. Smith missed the Third test, but returned in the fourth test to reignite the battle with Archer.
And in a social post, Smith reacted to a comment from a publication that the Australians were 'terrorised' by Archer. Smith pointed out that the quick never actually dismissed him in the series.
"Terrorised? Remind me when I was dismissed by him," Smith quipped. Cricket fans will unfortunately have to wait for another epic encounter between the pair after Archer's latest setback.
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