ENGLISH TOUR IN NEW ZEALAND, 2019
"He caught me in the forearm, almost took my head off a few times and then took me in the chest a few times" – Phillips © Getty
It is never easy to face a fast and rampant player when he has a threatening security. Good luck if you're facing Englishman Jofra Archer. He is tall, scary with his looks and even scarier with his deceptive pace.
New Zealand A scout Glenn Phillips had an experience like never before when he faced England on the first day of the three-day warm-up game at the Cobham Oval in Whangarei on Friday (November 15).
"My God. It was the fastest I've ever faced in my life. The challenge was unbelievable," said Phillips.
Opting to hit first, the home team lost Rachin Ravindra earlier, but Phillips saw a good bowling alley and shared a second 107-race wicket with Hamish Rutherford to avoid trouble. However, when he crossed fifty, Archer returned with a fire spell for the goalkeepers at will.
"He caught me in the forearm, almost took my head off a few times and then took me in the chest a few times."
"With Steve Smith being run over a few months ago, [the fear of injury] It's in the back of your mind a little, because it's running a little. But he's not out there intentionally trying to hurt someone. It's more of a tactical thing. If you are watching the ball, I hope you are well. But if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time …
"It's the most fun you can have out there. There's no point in being easy, especially when a guy is trying to get his head off. It may not be his wicket ball either. So the challenge is to make sure you survive and get out of the spell ".
Despite the blows, Phillips managed to weather the storm and completed the hundred. "The shutter flattened pretty well in the end so it was good to hit. It was a lot of fun," he added.
New Zealand A declared their entry at 302 by 6, after which England closed the day at 26 for the loss of Rory Burns.
With England's players not finding much of a spin, as they usually do at home with the Dukes, it is evident that they will be looking at Archer to destabilize the batters when the pitch is not helping in the sideways move. Phillips calculated that watching the ball closely is critical to New Zealand batters when they play Archer in both test matches.
"What advice would I give the New Zealand team if they asked? Just watch the ball as much as you can. Like any player, he gives bad balls. But he's very accurate with his short ball plan," he concluded. .