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Last Updated: 28/07/19 7:01am
Jofra Archer is in line to make his Test debut against Australia on Thursday
Jofra Archer could prove the difference between two “unbelievable” bowling attacks in the Ashes, according to all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
The 24-year-old is in line for his Test debut after being included in England’s 14-man squad for the first Test of the five-match series which begins at Edgbaston on Thursday.
Archer is expected to face a battle with fellow World Cup winner Chris Woakes, who impressed with six wickets in the second innings of England’s 143-win against Ireland at Lord’s, for the third seamer role alongside Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
England vs Australia
August 1, 2019, 10:00am
Asked whether Archer could swing the outcome in England’s favour, Maxwell, who was omitted after he failed to impress in the World Cup, said: “Yes, certainly.
“He’s coming into the series on the back of a very impressive World Cup so his morale and confidence will be high.
Archer, who returned for Sussex in the T20 Blast on Friday, had to manage a side strain throughout the World Cup
Jofra Archer was the third-highest wicket-taker at the World Cup, with 20 wickets in 11 matches for England
“Alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes, England have got an extremely well-rounded bowling attack with different variety as well and they will challenge the Australian batsmen.
Australia, who will be looking to win an Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001, boast a strong bowling attack of their own led by Mitchell Starc.
James Pattinson and Peter Siddle have been recalled, while Josh Hazlewood is back in the 17-man squad following his recent back injury and Maxwell is excited about the two bowling units going head-to-head.
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“When you think of seeing the two bowling attacks-going head-to-head and when you have guys like Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the Australian side, that’s a pretty mouth-watering prospect,” he said.
“In my opinion it’s a series that could be decided on which of the batting line-ups can hold their own against the opposition bowling.
“The two bowling attacks are unbelievable, and I am really looking forward to watching them in action. It will be good to see how both teams go about it and it will be particularly interesting to see how the batsmen go about facing these amazing bowling attacks.
Glenn Maxwell will be watching the Ashes series with interest
“It will be nice to see the class from both teams coming through in what will hopefully be conditions that are conducive to good cricket.”
Maxwell also believes we could be in line for some low-scoring matches, which would help create an added intensity to the series.
“I think the Ashes will be extremely entertaining and hopefully the wickets will have a little bit in them for the bowlers,” the 30-year-old said.
“We’ve seen plenty of wickets fall quickly in the recent England versus Ireland Test match and also in Australia’s practice match, so hopefully there will be plenty of exciting cricket.
“I love it when ball dominates bat and there are tight games. We saw that the World Cup final was a low-scoring affair and how exciting that was and the more we see of that the more exciting the Ashes will be.”
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Maxwell, who is hopeful his time playing red-ball cricket for Lancashire will help earn him a return to the Test squad, is optimistic Australia, who include Steve Smith and David Warner will produce their best cricket to retain the Ashes.
“They’ve got all bases covered and hopefully the stars in the Australian batting line-up can really shine through,” said Maxwell, who has only played seven Test matches.
“Steve Smith’s performances will be crucial and he looks like he’s really determined to have a big series so I am looking forward to see how he goes and David Warner as well.
“They are two guys with a point to prove and I’m sure the crowds will give them a tough time but that will only make them even more determined to play better and better.
“So I am really looking forward to watching both Smith and Warner go about their business during the Ashes. It should be a really interesting and closely-fought series.”