Jofra Archer’s incredible rookie year in international cricket continues to earn him praise from all corners, with England mate James Anderson calling the fast bowler’s impact upon arrival unprecedented.
In just over three months as an international cricketer, Archer is already a World Cup winner, and played an integral role himself, delivering the Super Over that clinched the title for England. Despite being just 14 ODIs old, Archer was Eoin Morgan’s go-to man, ahead of more seasoned performers in Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood.
Exactly a month after that nervous and emotionally-sapping final, the Barbados-born fast bowler made his Test debut at the site of that World Cup triumph, and scorched Australia with fearsome pace and eyeball-grabbing skills. In his first Test, Archer landed the most decisive blow by taking out Steve Smith, England’s biggest threat in the series.
“I don’t know if any player has had such an impact on international cricket in the first three months of their career,” Anderson told BBC Radio 5 live. “Winning the World Cup, bowling the Super Over to win the World Cup for England, and then Test debut, I think his match figures were something like 5/75 [5/91] off 44 overs.”
Archer’s temperament has already been highly spoken of, following the World Cup Super Over, and Anderson echoed those sentiments. He also looked forward to bowling alongside the 24-year-old – an opportunity the veteran missed at Lord’s, where he sat out with a calf injury, leading to Archer’s debut in the first place.
“Sometimes, you see people burst onto the scene, but the pressure of doing it day in and day out, the expectations built upon people… I just don’t see this happening with Jofra,” Anderson said.
Jofra Archer lets go during an England training session
“The way about him, his temperament, the persona is just so calm and collected and calculating. He knows his game really well and he’s oozing confidence. It’s just really exciting for an English fan, even English cricket. I’d love to bowl at the other end to him and play in the same team as him.”
Anderson, however, sounded out a word of caution. It is a concern shared by West Indian legend Michael Holding, who recently said that Archer’s current workload is unsustainable and equated the number of overs he delivered at Lord’s – 44 out of 142, more than a third of all of England’s overs – to abuse.
“I think the only danger with him is that he bowled a lot of overs,” Anderson said. “He’s the sort of guy who’d probably be a nightmare for a captain because you can’t get the ball out of his hand. He wants to bowl all the time, he’s got an action and a run-up that doesn’t really take much out of him. But, still, we’ve got to be careful we don’t over-bowl him too much, and just look after him a little bit.”