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‘Jofra makes any team better’ – Ben Stokes

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ben Stokes, the England all-rounder, has provided a ringing endorsement for Jofra Archer, saying it is a ‘great position’ for England to be in to have the fast bowler available for selection for the World Cup at home.

The Barbados-born Archer has only recently met the criteria to qualify for England, but hasn’t played a game for the team. He has pushed his case through performances in T20 leagues, including at Rajasthan Royals where he and Stokes are teammates.

While the debate rages on over whether Archer should get to play for England in this year’s World Cup, which begins on May 30, Stokes was unreserved in his praise for the fast bowler.

“Jofra makes any team better,” he said, speaking on BCC‘s The Doosra podcast. “He is the most naturally gifted bowler I’ve seen and I don’t think he realises how good he is. Some of the things he can do at the click of a finger are just ‘wow’. It’s pretty special to watch.”

Archer has the ability to bowl yorkers in succession with great accuracy. He can also hit speeds of 150 kmph, which make his well-disguised variations that much more difficult to contend with. Those are skills that are transferable into ODI cricket.

The dilemma for the selectors stems from the simple fact that Archer’s inclusion will cost another bowler his spot in the 15. Stokes dealt with that question rather diplomatically.

“It’s a tough question but it’s a great position to be in as an England team when you’ve got a player with the skill level Jofra’s got,” he said.

Whichever way England ultimately decide on the issue, they will be strong favourites to lift their maiden men’s 50-over Cricket World Cup title. England are No.1 in the format in ICC’s rankings and they are confident in themselves.

After the World Cup they also have the Ashes to look forward to, for which they’ll again be strong favourites especially since it’s being played at home. A double of the World Cup and Ashes would make it one of England’s most memorable summers.

“We’re fortunate to be around at this stage in our careers where we have a World Cup and an Ashes in England at the same time,” said Jos Buttler. “The one-day team has been playing some good cricket for the last three years and we have got ourselves to No.1 in the world, which was one of the targets of the side.

“The favourites tag doesn’t mean anything but it should give us confidence for what should be a memorable summer of cricket.”

 

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