LONDON – England seamer Jimmy Anderson believes Barbadian fast bowler Jofra Archer will add a new dimension of fear to the home side’s squad, if he is selected for the World Cup starting here at month end.
The 24-year-old Archer was born in Barbados but qualifies to represent England through his father who is British. He made his international debut last week in a one-off One-Day International against Ireland and played his first Twenty20 International on Sunday against Pakistan.
However, he was not picked in the preliminary 15-man World Cup squad but the door remains open to his selection if he performs outstandingly in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan starting Wednesday.
In both his outings over the last week, Archer put on show the pace he has come to be known for and Anderson said that element would definitely boost England’s attack.
“That is the sort of thing that makes people take note,” said Anderson, England’s all-time wicket-taker in Tests.
“When you’re coming up against a bowler who rushes a top-order international batsman like that, it filters through other teams.
“If Jofra does make the 15 for the World Cup, the other teams will watch videos of him to get an idea of what they do and a video like that will fill them with fear.”
Archer became eligible for selection in March after the England and Wales Board slashed its eligibility criteria from seven years to three. Under the old rules, he would not have been available for selection until 2022.
His availability has sparked widespread debate over whether he should be included in the World Cup squad, especially with the unit already boasting a settled line-up.
But Anderson said if selectors decided to go with Archer, they would be assured of someone who is battle-ready.
“He’s played a lot of T20 cricket around the world, so he’s not new to it,” Anderson pointed out.
“He’s not like a young kid who could be raw and taken aback by the occasion. You can see that. He’s fully in control of what he does. He’s confident in his game. He knows what ball to bowl and when.”
The possibility of Archer forcing his way into the World Cup squad had brought guarded responses from a few of his prospective team-mates, notably David Willey, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. Archer said that he had since spoken to all three and was not worried about how the situation had been portrayed.
“It’s been very welcoming,” Archer said. “I knew most of the guys before coming here but it’s nice to come into a new team with some people you know. Sometimes the media can get things wrong and misquote people. Since I’ve been here I didn’t feel any malice at all. It’s a really welcoming bunch of lads. I’m happy.
“It’s game by game, I’m not thinking too far ahead. If I do well here it will probably put my case forward. But I’m not focusing on the World Cup spot.”
England are current world number ones and are heavy favourites to win the May 30 to July 14 World Cup. (CMC)