Jofra Archer WILL return for England in Friday’s opening one-day match against South Africa after a near-TWO-YEAR absence from international cricket, confirms captain Jos Butler, who insists it’s ‘brilliant’ to finally have him back
Jos Buttler has predicted Jofra Archer will get ‘better and better’ now he is back on the international scene.
Although the Sussex fast bowler missed optional practice at the Mangaung Oval on Thursday, in keeping with a policy of not overdoing things outside of competitive action, he is expected to win a 43rd England cap across all formats in the one-day series opener versus South Africa on Friday, 22 months after his 42nd.
‘I speak on behalf of everyone that he’s such an exciting guy to have back on the field,’ Buttler said.
Jofra Archer will make his first England appearance in 22 months after a lengthy injury lay-off
‘As an England captain, being able to have him back in your squad and in your team is brilliant.
‘He’s only just coming back to competitive cricket, this will be his first international game for a long time, and there’s always going to be a level of expectation on Jofra because we all know what he’s capable of.
‘But I’m sure he’s just going to get better and better as he comes back and gets back to performing at such a high level.
Archer played a crucial role in England’s famous 2019 World Cup triumph over the Indians
‘I know he’s going to come and perform brilliantly because that’s what he’s able to do.’
England are also set to unleash Harry Brook in 50-over cricket, a year and a day after he made his international debut as a last-minute replacement for Eoin Morgan in the West Indies, and hand Ben Duckett a first ODI appearance for more than six years.
They are part of a new-look batting unit following the retirements of Morgan and Ben Stokes last year, and one addressed by Kevin Pietersen at practice this afternoon.
The fast bowler played a starring role for England in the 2019 Ashes series, taking 22 wickets
‘We have a World Cup nine months away now and we don’t have loads of games before that,’ said Buttler.
‘They’re all really vital games to give guys chances and exposure to the ODI format and give guys an opportunity to try and nail down a place in the XI or 15 for the World Cup.
‘There’s two big names in Morgan and Stokes who are not around any more so big holes to fill and that’s exciting for guys to have that opportunity to put their hand up and try and stake a claim for those spots.’