Jofra Archer is putting all Ashes talk on hold until after England’s Cricket World Cup final showdown with New Zealand on Sunday.
The fiery fast bowler was born in Barbados and only became eligible to play for England this year, yet already he looks like a player who could make a lasting impact across all formats.
With James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the twilight of their international careers, the prospect of another prolific wicket-taking paceman coming into the Test side holds obvious appeal.
England’s selectors will consider options for the Ashes in the coming weeks, with the opener against Australia beginning on August 1 at Edgbaston.
Asked about his Ashes chances, Archer said: “After Sunday I can probably answer that, but now I’m just focusing on trying to win the final.”
He has 19 wickets at the World Cup already, emerging as the team’s number one strike bowler, but is taking the achievements and the focus on him in his stride.
“I’m just glad the team’s doing well,” Archer said. “I could be doing terribly but as long as the team’s winning I’m all right.”
England have found prime form at the right time, getting out of group-stage trouble with victories over India and New Zealand before throttling Australia by eight wickets in Thursday’s semi-final at Edgbaston.
Archer has vowed to keep unleashing bouncers at batsmen after one sparky delivery banged Australia’s Alex Carey on the helmet, causing a chin injury that required six stitches.
The 24-year-old Sussex quick said: “You don’t always mean to hit them. You just try to bowl a bouncer because it can be a wicket-taking ball or a dot ball.
“When it hits them you feel a little bit bad for doing it, but it’s cricket and I don’t think he’ll be the last person to get hit.”
Archer and England departed Birmingham in high spirits, and with a Lord’s appointment booked the tournament hosts will target one last major push.
A niggling side issue should not prevent Archer playing a full part in the showpiece match, although when asked about the problem he admitted it was still causing some discomfort.
“A little bit but I’ll keep soldiering on,” Archer said. “I’ve been like this for a few games now. It’s not getting any worse so that’s a good sign.”
Archer took eight wickets for Sussex against Middlesex in a County Championship match at Lord’s last year, and facing the same opponents at the same ground he bagged a T20 hat-trick that included the scalp of England skipper Eoin Morgan.
But Archer said memories of the stadium left him with “mixed feelings”.
“Sometimes I do OK, sometimes I don’t do as well as I would like,” Archer said.
“Hopefully on Sunday it goes England’s way, not just my way but England’s way.”
Archer is now England’s highest ever World Cup wicket-taker.
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.