“Is there anything this man can’t do?” is a common phrase used by the commentators to generally describe Jofra Archer, referring to his cricketing abilities. But today, the speedster to that statement to a whole new level, as he showcased his footballing skills to save himself from getting bowled.
When England looked down and out of the Ashes after just the first Test at Edgbaston, Jofra Archer provided a breath of fresh air to the team and turned the whole series on its head with his hostile pace bowling. After striking Steve Smith on the neck at Lord’s, the 24-year-old then claimed his maiden five-wicket haul at Headingley to bowl his side to victory and help them level the series.
Despite not being at his best in the first innings at Old Trafford, the speedster bounced back in the second innings by knocking over three top-order batsmen, giving his side every chance of winning the match. However, despite trying his best, his threat was extinguished by the greatness of Smith, who almost demoralized him by smacking him all over the park.
On Day 5, Archer was summoned upon by England once again to save the Test for his country, but this time, with the bat. With Jos Buttler dismissed, the responsibility of saving the match then solely fell on the shoulders of himself and Craig Overton. On the fourth ball of the 75th over, or rather, the second ball of Archer, Josh Hazlewood bowled a half-tracker that kept low and hit the thighs of Archer.
However, after hitting his thigh, the ball ricocheted off his bat and threatened to roll on to the stumps. By the time Archer realized this, the ball had gone behind him, meaning he was blinded. However, through sheer presence of mind and instinct, Archer back-heeled the delivery with his left foot onto his right foot. Then, after hitting his right foot, the ball went past the stumps, meaning he was safe from any danger.
Whether Archer meant it or not is a completely different question altogether, but certainly, at that very moment, Archer’s “inner Messi” helped him stay at the wicket for a bit longer.
Watch the video here: