Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, has attributed the improved performance of his white-ball bowlers to the Archer factor.
Jofra Archer’s availability for selection later this month has caused a clamour in England: the likes of Nasser Hussain have called for the all-rounder to be selected to the England World Cup squad, but that hasn’t been met with much enthusiasm from the incumbent limited-overs bowlers.
David Willey questioned the wisdom in calling up Archer as soon as he’s available, and stated his belief that England would be better off sticking with the players who have got them this far.
With the World Cup squad only 15-members strong, Archer’s potential inclusion has only added to an already crowded field of aspirants. During the T20Is in the Caribbean, there was palpable proof for Bayliss that the current crop is determined to make it to the premier event.
Chris Jordan returned a career-best 4-6 in the second T20I as West Indies were bundled out for 45. In the next match, Willey returned a career-best 4-7 too. Tom Curran also took 4-36 in that same innings. In short, the England bowlers were flying.
It’s exactly the sort of reaction Bayliss had hoped for with all the Archer talk. “With the chat that has been around about Jofra in the last month or two it’s been good to see the response we’ve had from the bowlers,” he said.
“Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they’re available, whether that’s the right thing, I don’t know.”
Willey’s concerns about Archer’s possible call-up 👇https://t.co/Cridy59k9o
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 8, 2019
“Some of the performances on this trip have been fantastic. Sometimes, the best pressure is from within and there hasn’t been a lot of pressure on the group from a bowling point of view for a while. With that chat about Jofra, the guys we’ve got here have really stood up and bowled extremely well.
“That’s a good thing for England cricket. It’s great to see those guys raise the bar and put in the performances they did over the T20s. Going into that World Cup, it’s got to be a bonus.”
That doesn’t mean Archer won’t be tried out, though. Bayliss admitted Archer will “probably” play the limited-overs series against Pakistan in May. Jordan, who last played an ODI in 2016, also seems to have done enough for a place in that squad.
“He [Archer] probably will get some games during that Pakistan series, but there’s the possibility of someone like Chris Jordan getting a game as well,” said Bayliss. “It’s a little far off yet – we’ll have to have a debrief on this series and have a chat a little closer to that Pakistan series.”