Steve Smith ready for Jofra Archer and Jack Leach in second Ashes Test, says Justin Langer
Australia coach Justin Langer on England's Jofra Archer: "We've got to keep wearing him down and get him back into his second or third and fourth spells"
Last Updated: 13/08/19 7:13am
"Problem solver" Steve Smith is ready for the challenge of facing Jofra Archer and Jack Leach in the second Ashes Test at Lord's, says Australia coach Justin Langer.
Smith struck twin tons as Ashes holders Australia began the five-match series with a 251-run victory at Edgbaston, the 30-year-old hitting 144 and 142 in his first Test since the ball-tampering scandal.
But he should come up against added pace in the capital with Archer set to debut in place of the injured James Anderson, plus his perceived weakness of left-arm spin with Jack Leach in for the dropped Moeen Ali.
"I don't buy into it," Langer told reporters when asked whether Smith had a fallibility against left-arm spin.
"I said after the last Test that he has this incredible ability to solve problems so I'm sure he'll be thinking a lot about how he is going to play the new bowlers coming in. I hope all our batters are doing the same thing.
"I'm really curious about how Archer is going to go. Hopefully it will help us [that he is making his Test debut] and hopefully our guys have the answers for what he dishes up.
"He's a very skilled bowler, an incredible athlete and has a great temperament, but he's played one red-ball game in 11 months and Test cricket is very different to white-ball cricket.
"Our plans are no different to what they would be against Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes. We've got to keep wearing him down and get him back into his second or third and fourth spells.
"The question always in Test cricket is, have you got the mental toughness and physical endurance to play well."
David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the other players sanctioned after the ball-tampering episode, struggled in Birmingham - Warner out for two and eight, and opening partner Bancroft notching 33 and seven.
Warner did enjoy some banter with the England fans though, at one point turning out his pockets as the crowd continued to reference 'Sandpapergate'.
"[Warner] didn't have a big first Test but he had a huge World Cup and IPL," said Langer. "He is getting his energy back. When those two [Warner and Smith] are clear and have energy, it's obviously a big advantage for us.
"They're still copping a bit [from the crowd]. It's what we expected since we have been here [but] the boys are handling it well.
"Davey's humour at Edgbaston was nice - he's handling it as well as anyone. Steve Smith came in and showed with his batting how he's handling it.
"[Bancroft] has come back in and now he's trying too hard. He's achieved that goal, when he thought it might have taken a lot longer. He just has to re-set his goals, clear his mind and just relax a bit. He'll be fine.
We are very aware England played at Edgbaston without their best player in James Anderson - we got lucky with that because he is a brilliant fast bowler and an all-time great.
Justin Langer on James Anderson
"We know there are now different pressure and conditions [coming to Lord's] and we have to make sure we are right for the Test match."
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