England spearhead Jofra Archer says his friendship with Australia batsman Steve Smith will be cast aside when the two sides face off in a crucial World Cup match at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London today.
Archer, the emerging fresh face of England’s pace attack, and Smith are teammates for Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals. Australia’s David Warner and Aaron Finch, enjoying a golden run as an opening combination, will be the crucial early wickets but Archer would then love a shot at batting plank Smith, whom the bowling all-rounder says is a friend.
“I’d like to consider he thinks of me the same way as well. He’s a really good guy. Cricket is cricket and I guess it’s time to be friends after. But until the game is over, there will be nothing friendly about it,” he said.
Reformed England all-rounder Ben Stokes was also with the Royals this season, and Archer -- preparing for only his 10th one-day international -- pointed out that the pair may take on the fidgety Smith together armed with inside knowledge.
“That’s the thing, when you play with them you pick up on things you won’t normally notice when you’re just playing against them. So, hopefully, me and Ben we can get together -- I think we might bowl together at some point as well -- so we probably know what to do when he’s in,” continued Jofra.
Archer, 24, added that he did not get much of a chance to bowl to Smith in the nets because ‘a lot of the guys don’t want to face me or Oshane [Thomas]’.