ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP
Archer replaced Willey in the final squad. © Getty
Jofra Archer is over the moon at his World Cup selection – and has identified Virat Kohli as the player he would most like to get out.
On Tuesday, Archer was confirmed in England’s official 15 for the ICC tournament which begins on May 30. In doing so, he overtook David Willey as the left-armer joined Joe Denly and Alex Hales as the three to miss out from the preliminary squad named last month.
The 24-year old has been a walking highlight reel on the domestic circuit, including in franchise competitions across the world. But it was only in the last month he got his chance in international cricket after qualifying for England in March through residency (though he carries a British passport through his English father, who lives in Liverpool).
Though he has only bowled 22 overs across three ODIs against Ireland and West Indies, the pace and control exhibited were enough for selectors to give him the green light. Now, the Sussex quick has his sights sets on some big scalps.
“I’d quite like to get Virat Kohli out,” Archer said on Sky Sports, “because I wasn’t able to do it in the IPL!”
That’s understandable, perhaps, given Archer has only bowled two balls to the India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper in his IPL career: one in 2018 and one in 2019. One run and one leg bye, respectively.
While he also has West Indies Chris Gayle on his list, he will be happily lining up alongside Jos Buttler who he rates as the best player he has bowled to: “He is a 360 cricketer, can hit you straight down the ground or over the keeper’s head. I don’t think anywhere is safe with him.”
Indeed, it is Archer’s franchise experience which he believes will hold him in good stead for the rigours of tournament cricket. Playing in front of big crowds, with a lot on each delivery, he has developed plenty of skills to cope. One crucial element is coming against big international starts on a regular basis in his various the IPL, Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League and Bangladesh Premier League stints, along with his usual lot in the English T20 Blast.
“I probably have a bigger advantage over some of the other guys in our team. You play them [international cricketers] twice a game in IPL and you know strengths, weaknesses and if they can run between the wickets. I think international cricket is the same intensity as IPL, all that has changed is the amount of overs.”
It was on Monday that national selector Ed Smith called around the squad to let them know who had made it and who hadn’t. Archer received his call yesterday evening while in the car: “I was driving at the time and I felt the phone vibrate. I answered without looking and he introduced himself. It was really, really exciting to be part of a big summer for English cricket.
“Everyone has welcomed me with open arms since the day that I got in. It is a great team to be a part of, probably one of the better teams I have been involved in.”