By Paul Edwards

There are days in this game when you can sense a cloak of responsibility being passed from one player to his successor. Jimmy Anderson is 37; he spent today proving his fitness at the Northern club in Great Crosby and he will play for Lancashire’s second team again at Chester Boughton Hall next week. Jofra Archer is 24; he spent his day at Emerald Headingley, bowling the spells which have defined the current shape of the Third Ashes Test. Anderson may yet take vital wickets for England and has not ruled out going on the next Ashes tour. But when Archer received a standing ovation this evening after his six for 45 had dismissed Australia for 179 one could see a new era beginning. Archer had taken the first wicket and the last; he had dismissed three of the last four Australian batsmen; he is playing in his second Test and he is already Joe Root’s go-to bowler. This may yet be remembered as his series, his year. It has already been something to see.

Yet today’s cricket was not all about the 24-year-old Bajan. How could it be given that two batsmen made 135 of Australia 179 runs and the other nine managed 31 between them? There was much more light and shade to our cricket than might be assumed from a brief glance at the scorecard. And both qualities, almost inevitably, were linked to one David Warner.

“It’s important for opening batsmen to put their play-and-misses to the back of their minds,” said Michael Atherton. The point is very sound but one wonders how large Warner’s mind would have to be for him to obey Atherton’s instruction. Put a couple of Rory Burns’ innings aside and the first two Tests of this series had not been encounters to treasure for top-order batsmen. Certainly there was a certain ghoulish delight to be gained from watching Warner suffer in the opening four-over session we watched at Headingley this morning before rain returned. On five occasions in 12 balls one of the world’s most destructive openers was reduced to foolish impotence as he groped for 85mph leg breaks from Stuart Broad. One almost thought the dismissal of Marcus Harris, caught by Jonny Bairstow off Archer, was relatively merciful, albeit Harris was probably frustrated his departure was the immediate prelude to a long interruption.

Related News

View all news

Before a ball is bowled

Read more
An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

Sign up to our newsletter

For all the latest news, previews, ticket, membership and Premium Experiences information and more exciting content from Yorkshire Cricket and the Northern Diamonds straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

To view our privacy policy, click here.