With the spectre of Barbadian-born Jofra Archer looming large, Trevor Bayliss has been buoyed by the reaction of those players already in the current line-up.
Archer, who completes his qualification for the national team on Sunday, is set to be named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad which is submitted on April 23. He will then be given a chance to nail down a spot in the final 15-man squad with ODIs against Ireland and Pakistan.
Invariably, it will mean a bowler who has been a regular around the limited overs teams will miss out. Archer’s pull has been his ability to bowl in excess of 90mph, something which Bayliss, the head coach, has been seeking to add across all three formats.
However over the last week in the Caribbean, England secured a T20I 3-0 whitewash, which included dismissing West Indies for 45 and 71. A trio of those who could make way for Archer nabbed four-wicket hauls: Chris Jordan taking four for six in the second T20I and David Willey four for seven in the third, with Tom Curran backing up the left-armer in the same innings with four for 36. All were personal bests in the shortest format.
“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,” said Bayliss. “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.”
Bayliss, while championing Archer, also backed his good friend and fellow Bajan Chris Jordan. The Sussex quick has not played an ODI for England since September 2016.
“Look, I think 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. So 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.”