Michael Holding urges Jofra Archer to let go of the handbrake

‘This is the best pitch for fast bowling I have seen this summer’: Michael Holding urges Jofra Archer to let go of the handbrake after England speedster struggled for pace against Pakistan at Old Trafford

  • Michael Holding has urged Jofra Archer to start bowling at a faster pace again
  • He is currently bowling just above 80mph, but Holding knows he has more
  • Archer showed off his blistering pace in his debut series against Australia 

West Indies fast-bowling legend Michael Holding has urged Jofra Archer to let go of the handbrake and charge in on the quickest pitch of the summer as England threatened to begin yet another Test series with defeat in the opening game.

Archer took three for 59 as Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 326 on the second day of the first Test in Manchester, but without ever approaching the speeds he produced during his memorable debut series against Australia last summer.

He later said: ‘It’s not every day you’re going to come in and bowl 90mph. I’ve seen [Naseem] Shah started bowling at 90, so we’ll see how he goes later on tomorrow. No one’s a robot, so I’ll be very, very interested to see what he can produce later. This wicket is not a wicket you’re really going to try to bend your back on.’

Michael Holding has urged Jofra Archer to reach the same bowling speeds he saw last summer

Holding was speaking on Sky Sports, saying this is the fastest pitch of the summer so far

But Holding told Sky Sports: ‘This is the best pitch for fast bowling that I have seen this summer. It’s not lightning quick, but Jimmy Anderson had Buttler taking the ball up by his shoulders, and he’s bowling 80-odd mph.

‘So if you’re capable of bowling 95mph, you should steam in for four or five overs and show people that you are quick.’

Co-commentator Shane Warne added: ‘I would like to see him bowl short spells and bowl two or three overs as fast as he can.’

Holding mentioned that Pakistan’s Naseem Shah has come steaming in with 90mph balls

Archer bowls Abid Ali of Pakistan on the first day of the Test at Old Trafford on Monday

Archer was not called upon in the post-lunch session by Joe Root until nearly 3.30pm, and laughed when asked whether he was surprised to have waited so long to be brought back into the attack. ‘I did want to start again after the break, but the captain knows best.’

Meanwhile, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq praised opener Shan Masood, who held his side’s innings together and was ninth out for a career-best 156.

‘I think it was an excellent performance, especially against that seam attack,’ said Misbah. ‘He showed application and his hard work paid off. He has now proved himself in England. It’s not just a hundred, but a big hundred. A hundred, and we would have been in trouble, but 150 was something special.’ 

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