While a lot of the talk has been around whether or not Jofra Archer will be in England’s World Cup squad, veteran Stuart Broad has said that the 24 year old could also play a vital role in the Ashes later this year.
Archer, already a T20 superstar, impressed one and all with his bowling in England’s recent internationals. His pace was particularly eye-catching, with the Barbados born star comfortably hitting speeds of 90 mph+, and unlike some others in the modern game, he’s also got the control to go with it. Archer bowled only four overs in England’s rain-hit first ODI against Pakistan at the Oval, but his 4-2-6-1 spell was enough to make several veterans of the game gush about him.
Legendary all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has said that he would drop “anyone” for Archer, and added that he was impressed with the latter’s array of skills, saying that he had “to be in” the squad. Archer’s pace and ability to deliver yorkers, bouncers and slower balls at will impressed the Lancashire great.
Former skipper Michael Vaughan echoed Flinftoff’s thoughts, and like Broad, has backed Archer to play in the Ashes. Here’s what he had to say
He’s just got a gift and when you get that kind of quality you have to get those players involved in all formats of the game.
He’ll win England World Cup games, he’ll win them T20 games and I’m very, very confident that he’ll have a big say in winning Test matches this summer as well as down the years
I would be absolutely staggered if he’s not taking part in the Ashes series as well as the World Cup.
I will drive personally to Sheffield and drag Joe Root out of bed if he (Archer) is not involved in some stage during the Ashes
While some might think that the thought of a test call up might be too premature, there is no doubting that Archer has the skills to succeed in the longest format. In some ways, his case mirrors that of Hardik Pandya- Pandya was originally a white-ball star, but his ability with bat and ball lends balance to India’s test squad, especially with the need to play five bowlers. The only bit about Archer is to keep him injury-free, he had some well-documented issues with his back before his rise to prominence.
England are already World Cup favourites, and if they pick Archer (he wasn’t in their preliminary 15 man squad announced last month), the odds on them to win will just get shorter. Pace is a treasured community in short-ball cricket, and many of the best bowling attacks have at least one 90 mph+ bowler in their ranks- South Africa and Rabada, Australia and Starc, India and Bumrah to name three. Archer is also no bunny with the bat- he could easily do a job at 7 or 8 if the need arises.