England fast bowler Jofra Archer on Monday (February 22) said the tourists are confident of winning the ongoing four-match Test series in India and for which the third Test to be played from Wednesday (February 24) in Ahmedabad will be crucial for them to achieve the desired result.
With the four-match Test series level at 1-1 at the moment, India and England both teams would look to win the upcoming day-night Test at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, given the significance of sealing a spot in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
Archer said England will look to seize the momentum in the third Test and they can control the fourth and final Test if they win in the pink-ball Test against India in Ahmedabad.
On being asked if England win can the Test series in India, Archer said during a virtual media interaction on Monday: “Oh yes. I think that's why this next Test is important. If we do go ahead we can always draw (fourth Test). We always play to win but this next one puts us in the driver's seat, I think we control the last game if we win this one.”
The pacer, who missed the second Test due to an elbow injury, is looking forward to bowling with the pink ball under lights in the third Test against India.
Jofra further noted, “It feels like a normal pink ball, to be honest. Used the pink ball a couple of times, it's pretty much the same, it scruffs a little bit, a little bit hard to shine but usually stays a little bit harder. And when the lights come on it does a little bit more than it does during the day so you know it's pretty consistent I would say.”
On playing under lights, the Barbados-born pacer said, “It's a bit different now because when playing in England it's still late at 10 o'clock, I think that defeats the purpose of doing it, but it's going to be new for me. Obviously, it'd be nice to actually play with a pink ball.”
However, the pink ball usually assists the pacers more, but with the Motera pitch expected to be another turner for the day-night affair, Archer feels the Indian spinners would play a big role in the match.
He said, “I think in India spinners play a big role. Don't think the captain expects you (a pacer) to get a five-for or six-for in the subcontinent, you get two or three and you've done your job. I think that is our job.”
On England’s rotation policy for players, Archer said: “I think it's necessary especially now during COVID and stuff, there's a lot of resting and quarantine periods. I think rest and rotation is necessary for now. That's why we have such a big squad.
Touchwood everyone is fit, but it's very unlikely, someone will go down with an injury. The last thing we need is to be scrambling for a replacement, so I think the beauty of a big squad is that we can see everyone on a daily basis, even if they are not in the squad or in the team, you can still see what they can do.”
He would have been missed the second Test even if he wasn’t injured as part of England’s rotation policy.
Archer signed off by saying, “Feeling fine I guess, no complaints here. Just tried to utilise the best of a two-week window. Could have played the second Test if needed, but I was going to be rested anyway so I could have enough time to rebuild for the third Test.”
(With PTI Inputs)