LEEDS, England (Reuters) - Australia batsman David Warner described England fast bowler Jofra Archer as “world class” after he picked up his first five-wicket haul in test cricket to help dismiss the touring side for 179 in the third Ashes test on Thursday.
Barbados-born Archer, who made his test debut in the last match at Lord’s, ripped through the Australians with figures of 6-45 on a weather-affected opening day to put England in command as they look to level the series at 1-1.
Warner, who scored his first half century of the series before falling to Archer for 61, was full of praise for the 24-year-old, comparing him to Dale Steyn, South Africa’s all-time leading wicket taker.
“That was incredible test bowling,” Warner said. “England put the ball in the right areas.
“He bowled at bit like Dale Steyn with the new ball, tried to use the conditions and ramp it up when he needed to. It was world-class bowling at its best.”
Archer struck early to remove opener Marcus Harris in damp, overcast conditions, but Australia recovered after a rain-affected morning session to 136-2.
Backed up by Stuart Broad, Archer then turned the match in England’s favour.
Bowling at a slightly slower pace than he did at Lord’s, Archer said his style reflected the conditions.
“I don’t need to run in and bowl 90 (miles per hour) every spell to get wickets,” Archer said. “It has shown that today.
“There will be times in test matches you have to focus on hitting your length. There will be times to ramp it up as well but you don’t have to go into it every innings.
“These are things you train for. If you train hard you will be rewarded. We bowled well as a team at Lord’s, luckily enough for us it happened today.”
Australia need one more win in the five-match series to retain the Ashes urn for the first time in 17 years.
But, in the absence of the tourists’ leading batsman Steve Smith, England are looking to seize their chance to restore parity, and former Australia paceman Glenn McGrath believes Archer can be the difference.
“I dare say Jofra Archer will be getting a fair few more five-fors in his career,” McGrath told the BBC. “With him, England could win this inside three days.”
Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond