Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 November 2019

Jofra Archer: Where does England's terrifyingly fast bowler rank among the most fearsome?

His performance in the second Ashes Test at Lord's was thrilling but will have left batsmen feeling uneasy

We're only two Test matches down in this summer's Ashes, but already we've had what will surely be the most talked about passage of play of the entire year.

The orchestrator was England's Jofra Archer, who already had a reputation as one of the world's fastest bowlers.

Now he is surely the most fearsome, after his terrifying spell which saw Australia captain Steve Smith hit on the arm and then forced to retire hurt after a short delivery from Archer clouted him in the neck, just below the bottom of his helmet.

As captivating as it was for the thousands at the ground and many more watching on television, it was also a reminder that such top level sport, or at any level, can induce serious injury.

For the cricketing world it brought back painful memories of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes who died after being hit by the ball while batting in 2014.

On Saturday, Archer cranked his speed up well into the 90mph zone, with one delivery clocked at 96.1mph - not too far off the fastest ever recorded. He then hit Smith's concussion replacement, Marnus Labuschagne, on the head as well.

The Australians, and the rest of the world's batting fraternity, will be keeping a close eye on Archer from now on. Fixtures against England will lead to trepidation where perhaps there was far less on previous encounters.

The 24-year-old is new to the Test scene, and so has some way to go before being regarded as one of the greats, but he's already one of Test cricket's most fearsome bowlers of the modern era.

Former South African batsman Hershelle Gibbs had his say on Twitter about the quickest he faced during his career.

Shoaib Akhtar meanwhile was less than impressed with Archer's reaction after felling Smith, saying that it "was not nice" of him just to walk away as Smith lay on the floor.

Take the poll below to have your say on who the most fearsome bowler of recent times is (discounting the likes of the West Indies in the 1980s and 1990s):

Updated: August 19, 2019 01:54 PM

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