Ashes 2019: Australia not here to compete with Archer pace, insists Langer

By Sports Desk August 20, 2019

Justin Langer and Australia will not be drawn into an "emotional battle" to match Jofra Archer's pace by unleashing bouncers at the England batsmen.

Archer lit up the second Ashes Test with a ferocious display at Lord's, taking big wickets and notably delivering a ball that saw Steve Smith retire with a concussion.

The England star had struck Smith on the arm before hitting his neck, while he later sent a delivery straight into the face of concussion substitute Marnus Labuschagne.

But despite Archer's aggressive display, Australia head coach Langer is confident his side have a plan they will stick to that does not involve going tit for tat with the paceman.

"We know what our plans are to beat England," Langer told a news conference. "What we're not going to do is get caught up in an emotional battle of who is going to bowl the quickest bouncers.

"We're here to win the Test match, not to see how many helmets we can hit. That's the truth. We are literally here to win the Test match. We have our plans to beat England.

"Mike Atherton said a really interesting thing to me the other day in an interview: 'It seems a really different Australia team - in the past, you puff your chests out and you grow your beards and you're all tough and bowl as fast as you want'.

"No, we're here to win the Test match - not to see how many bruises we can give. That's not winning Test matches. Trust me, you can't get out with a bruise on your arm.

"We'll just keep continuing. We'll pick the team that we think will win.

"This is a different ground. I think the wicket will be quite slow, it's not going to be as fast as some of the other wickets we've seen - that's my understanding of what I've been told about playing here.

"I'm sure the bouncer will still be part of every bowler's armoury. If it helps us get batsmen out, then we'll use it. Otherwise, we'll keep sticking to the plan."

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