Jofra Archer is spicing up the Ashes series ahead of the fourth Test.
Jofra Archer is spicing up the Ashes series ahead of the fourth Test.

Archer delivers stinging Ashes barb

JOFRA Archer has accused Australia of panic, complacency and 'terrible' sledging.

The England pace ace believes the cocky Aussies lost it as Ben Stokes' epic unbeaten 135 inspired a miraculous one-wicket win at Headingley to tie the series at 1-1.

Archer claimed the famously chirpy tourists had a dig when he was caught on the boundary during the run chase.

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"It was terrible chat. Nothing to worry about. It made me laugh," he said.

"I think it was either Tim Paine or Matthew Wade but someone said 'that is a great shot Jof'.

"We got over the line. It doesn't matter how we got there. The point was we did.

"You should never get complacent - though to be fair, 350 runs is a lot.

Archer has been a huge key for the Poms.
Archer has been a huge key for the Poms.

"The crowd started getting on their backs and I think they panicked a bit.

"They thought they would have rolled us after getting a few quick early wickets."

Stokes' "special" century was also hailed by Kevin Pietersen, who maintained it may be better than his 2005 Ashes ton at The Oval.

"It's hard to make comparisons but he actually won the match single-handedly," ex-England star Pietersen said.

Meanwhile, Archer believes Paine's men will be forced to change their game plan in next week's Fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Archer will be pivotal in the Poms claiming the Ashes.
Archer will be pivotal in the Poms claiming the Ashes.

"In the upcoming games they will think twice," Archer said.

"I don't think they will declare now. I don't think they will be too attacking.

"If they draw the series they will still retain The Ashes so let's see. Their play might be a bit different.

"We might actually get them out for 67 - who knows? But I think our boys are in a good space.

"The Aussies were in the field a long time. They got the second new ball and still couldn't bowl us out. So all of those mental facts should sit with them next game.

"I actually felt for them, seeing any bowler getting to 25 overs is taxing.

Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs in Headingly.
Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs in Headingly.

"A lot of their boys are more bustly than us, longer run-ups, a bit bigger, so I can only imagine what they went through afterwards.

"We kept it alive, and hopefully we can win the next one, because I think they'll be happy if the rest of the games are drawn.

"So let's just give them one last upset - we upset them in the World Cup, let's do it again."

England's great nemesis Smith will be back in Manchester when the Fourth Test starts on Wednesday after he was forced out of the second innings at Lord's and all of the Leeds Test having been struck on the neck by a brutal Archer bouncer.

Asked whether he was looking forward to bowling to Smith again, Archer added: "Yes, why wouldn't I be?"

On hearing Smith has tried to downplay his influence by pointing out he has yet to get him out, Archer said: "I cannot get him out if he wasn't there!

Steve Smith is felled by an Archer delivery.
Steve Smith is felled by an Archer delivery.

"I did want to bowl at him when he came back out (in the first innings at Lord's) but he was out before I got back on.

"But there'll be more than ample time to get him out.

"I'm not saying I'll get him but if we don't get him out there's ten other people we can get out and if he's stranded on 40 that's not helping his team too much.

"We all know he's a world-class batter and has the right temperament for Test cricket but he can't do it all himself.

"I'm not here to get caught up in a contest with one man. I want to win The Ashes."

Archer and Smith have been teammates with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League but the England bowler says there is no time for pleasantries during an Ashes.

"I've seen him around. But you're not going to pull up a chair and have a deep conversation are you?" he added.

Bring on Steve Smith.
Bring on Steve Smith.

Sussex ace Archer admitted he feared he had lost the series when he was caught on the boundary for 15, after a series of big hits, with England still 73 short of victory.

"I thought I'd messed the series up, not just the game. So I was very relieved that we are still alive and fighting," he said.

"Your coach always tells you, 'Don't leave it for anyone else.'

"We've all seen enough cricket to know how hard it is to score 73 to win with just one wicket left against this Australian bowling attack … we were very grateful to be on the winning side."

Archer revealed nerves and superstition gripped the dressing room as Stokes and Leach staged their heroics.

"When Nathan Lyon fumbled the run-out with two needed for victory, you could hear every heartbeat in the dressing room," Archer said.

"There were so many emotions flying around. We believed we should keep sitting in the same spot we'd watched the whole game in.

"I couldn't look out through the window. I was inside watching on TV with Joe Denly and Jason Roy.

"I went out to the window and someone said, 'Get back, get back!' I was like, 'OK, as you were.'"

In his rookie international season, Archer had already played a starring role in a thrilling World Cup final win over New Zealand but claims Headingley felt "more impossible".

"Ben gave us a second life. Everyone would like to win the World Cup and The Ashes so there's no reason why we shouldn't do it now," he said.

Archer, who insists he is fit after going off with cramp on day three, is relishing the intensity.

"It's even a bit more than it's cracked up to be now I'm in the middle of it," he said.

"I didn't receive many bouncers at county level, they know I can give it back. They all want to hit me on the knee.

"At Lord's the first ball was short, and the second, third, fourth and fifth. It shows how competitive it is."

News Corp Australia

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