Whatever issues Jofra Archer may have experienced in winning acceptance in England’s ODI side, it seems the Test team has long been convinced of his potential value.
Certainly Stuart Broad, one of those seamers who may come under pressure for his Test place, is in no doubt of Archer’s qualities. Not only does Broad expect Archer to break into England’s Ashes squad this summer, he has revealed he sought his advice a few months ago when he was working on shortening his run-up.
“I can’t see a way that Jofra doesn’t play some sort of role in that Ashes series,” Broad said at the launch of NatWest’s 2019 #NoBoundaries campaign. “He has the rhythm, the style, the pace. He generates pace with ease, which is always exciting as a fast bowler. He has everything you would want in a fast bowler to succeed at the top level.
“He’s got the character to play at the top level. I’ve seen him run in all day when things don’t quite go his way, which is a good sign. I hope he’s in front of The Oval pavilion lifting the Ashes urn come September because he’s a very exciting cricketer.”
Broad had never met Archer when he called him for advice last year. But so impressed was he with the pace and rhythm achieved by Archer from a relatively short run, he asked a mutual friend for his number with a view to gaining some technical insights; a somewhat surprising request from a man with more than 400 Test wickets to a man without any. To put it in perspective, the other bowlers Broad approached were James Anderson and Richard Hadlee.
“I’d not actually met Jofra, but I got his number through Luke Wright,” Broad said. “I messaged him because I loved the style of his run-up. It’s short and he keeps his stride pattern. When he wants to generate a bit more pace he lengthens his run. It looks like he bowls well to left-handers from over and round the wicket.”
Far from feeling threatened by Archer’s emergence, Broad welcomed the addition to England’s pace options. With five Tests against Australia and one against Ireland within eight weeks, he feels such reserves will be vital.
“There is a huge amount of cricket from that Ireland Test on July 24 to the middle of September and the end of the Ashes,” Broad said. “So you’re going to need a battery of fast bowers. The likes of Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Archer – all members of the ODI squad at present – are all potentially going to play a lot of cricket over the next two months leading into a ridiculous amount of cricket in the period after that. We’ll need a rotation of bowlers.” (Cricinfo)