England need to preserve Jofra Archer, says Shoaib Akhtar
New Delhi, Aug 20: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes England have got a great weapon in Jofra Archer but they need to preserve him and manage his workload in a way that the 24-year-old doesn't get injured very often.
Archer, who made his Test debut in the second match at Lord's which ended in a tense draw, returned match figures of 5/91. It was not just pace -- touching speeds of around 95mph -- by which he impressed all but it was more his attacking bouncers which troubled the Australian batter and brought excitement to the match which was marred by rain interruptions.
"Archer is an exciting talent. He is strong but I believe he is the perfect candidate for being injury prone. With his action and speed, I believe he can have back injuries, so he needs to be preserved," Akhtar said in a video posted on his Youtube channel.
"My suggestion will be to play him in fewer matches, he should not bowl 27 overs in an innings. What he cannot do in 14 overs, he won't be able to do it 27 overs," he further said.
Akhtar also feels that Ashes, which is currently 1-0 in favour of Australia, would now take a turn with Archer's inclusion into the England lineup.
"I think Ashes will now take a turn. I believe fast bowlers should bowl with more intensity now.
During the second Test at Lord's which ended in a draw, one of Archer's bouncers hit Steve Smith on the neck because of which he missed the last day of the Test match with concussion and his availability for the game starting Thursday is still in doubt.
And the former Pakistan pacer felt that Archer should have gone up to Smith to check up on him after striking him with a bouncer.
"I thought Archer should have gone up to Smith to check up on him as Smith got hit very badly on the neck. Archer should have sympathised," he said.
The 24-year-old, who hails from Barbados, was not picked up for the West Indies U-19 squad in 2014 and it was back thenanother West Indies-born England all-rounder Chris Jordan had asked him to think about a career in England.
"After a long time, a lethal fast bowler has come into the scene. Chris Jordon brought him from Barbados and told him to play for England. There's a contract within the England management that the player who does not abide by the team rules, then the ECB and management decides whether the player can come into the side or not," Akhtar said.