Fast bowler Jofra Archer has been included in England’s final World Cup squad only weeks after making his international debut.
The 24-year-old Archer has played just three ODIs and a T20I since his first appearance for England in Malahide earlier this month. But he has impressed with his 90 mph pace and versatility as both a new-ball and death-overs bowler, and was named in the final 15 on Tuesday ahead of David Willey.
“I got a call from Ed Smith yesterday, maybe at about six o’clock or so,” Archer told Sky Sports News.
“I was actually driving at the time and I just felt the phone vibrate and I answered it without looking at it, then that to stop myself and say “good evening”. “But it was really, really exciting to be a part of a big summer for English cricket.”
Prior to his England call-up, Archer had played just fourteen 50-over matches in his professional career, but insisted he was not worried by this lack of specific experience.
“I think I’m ready,” he added. “I’ve played a lot of cricket outside of 50 overs. And I know to deal with the pressure of crowds. Obviously because I was playing franchise cricket, that was the reason why it wasn’t able to play much List A cricket for Sussex, but you don’t forget how to bowl. And I think you get more opportunities to bowl than in T20s, you get another six extra overs there to take more wickets.”
Also, Archer’s regular encounters with some of the best players in the world on the T20 circuit mean that he is arguably better prepared for dealing with the talent in the World Cup than many more experienced international bowlers.
“I think I probably have a bigger advantage over some of the other guys in our team,” he said. “We play [these guys] twice a [season] in the IPL, so you know their weaknesses, you know their strengths, you know if they can’t run between the wickets … it gets you an extra bit of inside information.
“To be honest, I think international cricket is probably the same intensity as the IPL,” he added. “‘I think the only thing that changes is the amount of overs but, ever since I’ve started, the pressure is really intense. It’s different, but it still isn’t different.”
Despite some outspoken comments in the media from his rivals for World Cup selection – not least David Willey, the all-rounder whom he pipped for the final spot – Archer insisted he could not have been made more welcome by his new team-mates.
“Everyone welcomed me with open arms from the moment I got in,” he said. “It’s a really good team to be a part of, with great players, a great captain, great support staff and coaches. It’s probably one of the better teams have played in.”
Furthermore, Archer shared the delight of his World Cup selection with fans on social media. “Over the moon to be selected for @englandcricket in the upcoming World Cup,” he wrote in his Twitter post.
— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) May 21, 2019