Archer ‘thought he could rip my head off’
Matthew Wade has opened up on his spicy on-field Ashes battles, saying fiery England paceman "thought he could rip my head off".
Wade and Archer waged war on day four at the Oval, as the pugnacious Australian carved his way to a fourth Test century - while having to deal with an outstanding spell from the English pace sensation.
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There was no love lost between the Hobart Hurricanes teammates as Archer ploughed through a mighty eight-over spell, cranking up his pace to speeds that topped out at 153.5km/h in a short-pitched assault on Wade.
Amid the bouncers the pair came face-to-face for a handful of glaring contests, while Archer dropped a few one-liners Wade's way - with the Tasmanian showing far more restraint than he has in the field all series, where he's been a constant presence on stump mic with incessant chatter that infuriated England players and umpires alike.
"We all thought he'd slow down eventually but I can tell you that through that spell he certainly didn't slow down too much. He kept coming," Wade said, reflecting on the battle.
Every few minutes, Wade turned to fellow batsman Pat Cummins and marvelled at Archer's workload - and that he was backing up for another over.
But Archer had one of two goals, according to Wade.
"I felt like I could deal with what he was delivering. And he obviously thought he could rip my head off or get me out," he said.
"It was a good battle. There was a little bit of banter, no words really, just good hard Test cricket.
"Especially Ashes cricket, you got to be ready for the contest. It's a 'take no prisoners' kind of environment when you walk onto the ground."
Archer took an edge during their skirmish when he branded Wade with a searing bouncer that thudded into the left-hander's right shoulder.
But Wade had the last laugh as he notched his second century of the series, adding to his triumph at Edgbaston and cementing his place in the middle order ahead of the Australian summer - despite a difficult run through the middle Tests in England, where he failed to pass 50.
"I feel like it's a good reward … I put a lot of work in," said Wade, who spent nearly two years in the international wilderness before being recalled on the back of a mountain of first class runs.