The Ashes

Talk to include Jofra Archer in the Ashes squad is dangerously premature

Jofra Archer’s inclusion in the England World Cup squad has been incredibly fast-tracked after making his debut in May 2019 to then being thrust into the heat of battle against South Africa for England’s first World Cup game. It certainly has been a whirlwind ride for the 24-year-old but one that he has handled well, all things considered.

As far as the watching media and England supporters go, there is no question that Jofra Archer should be selected for the upcoming 2019 Ashes contest in England. This is despite only playing six ODI’s for England and never having bowled a ball in anger with the red Duke at international level. Now, whilst Archer is a talent and you can see why people like Nasser Hussain were calling for England to pick him for the World Cup back in February 2019, could the English media be doing what they are sometimes guilty of and hyping up a player beyond their actual abilities?

England are in desperate need of authentic fast bowlers after years of military medium has seen them bullied in the Ashes series, particularly away from home. The need to fight fire with fire is a very pressing one but at international level, throwing it down at over 90mph is still no guarantee for success, especially in the test arena. A look at Archer’s World Cup so far shows he has taken wickets but on closer inspection, how formidable have the opposition been?

Archer went well during England’s imposing win against an out-of-sorts South Africa by taking three wickets but then went the distance against Pakistan, ending with figures of 0/79. Three more wickets would follow against Bangladesh but then again, even with Bangladesh becoming a stronger force in world cricket, they still have a batting line up ready to be knocked over cheaply.

What may also be important to keep in mind is that Archer is still somewhat of an unknown quantity having just burst onto the scene. When teams have a bit longer to suss him out they could find the going a fair bit easier but on the other hand, they may not and still battle, the point is, it is far too early to include him in the Ashes squad as we don’t know yet either way.

With just James Anderson and Stuart Broad spearheading the attack, England are still the favourites at 3/4 in cricket betting to win the Ashes so there really is no need to disrupt this bowling partnership who have proved so effectively in England conditions. These elder statesmen use the conditions to get the best out of their line and length and the rewards speak for themselves.

The sensible option may be to hold Jofra Archer back in order to fine-tune his skills in time for the return Ashes series in Australia.

Speak to many of the lightning-quick bowlers who have failed on the international stage that now sit on the scrap heap, they will tell you that the faster you bowl, the quicker you can also go to the boundary. Archer could lose England a test match in one session should he lose his radar against some very uncompromising Australian batsmen.

At this stage, Archer doesn’t offer international cricket anything that would make him a world beater apart from pace. The only thing that can turn him into one of the world’s most feared bowlers is experience and time, if England throw him into the test arena too soon he may never recover.