His heroics in the recently-concluded ICC World Cup 2019 has earned Jofra Archer his maiden test call in the 14-men test squad announced by the England Cricket Board (ECB), on Saturday, for the first test of the upcoming Ashes series.
The Barbados-born pacer had taken 20 wickets in the 10-nation tournament and was the highest wicket-taker for his team. Despite boasting with some senior names, Jofra Archer emerged as the most important bowler for England in the World Cup as it was evident after he was handed the responsibility of bowling the crucial super over in the final at Lord’s. However, the bowler’s ability to bowl with the red ball will be assessed on Thursday at Edgbaston, the venue of the first test.
Like the Australian side, the English team also seems pacer-heavy with only one spinner in the form of Moeen Ali. Along with Archer, the other pacers include James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Olly Stone and Sam Curran. However, England’s hero against Ireland Jack Leach was surprisingly not included in the squad. Meanwhile, Anderson is expected to recover for the first test after missing out the Ireland test.
“Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here. Several bowlers are recovering from injuries or niggles. In addition, some bowlers who played in the World Cup are being closely monitored to assess their preparation for Test match cricket,” chief selector Ed Smith was quoted as saying.
Other notable selections include Jos Buttler and all-rounder Ben Stokes who were rested for the one-off Test against Ireland. Stokes has also been rewarded with vice-captaincy after it was taken from him owing to his infamous “Bristol Brawl” incident in September 2017.
“The wider circumstances, a successful home World Cup campaign followed so quickly by a home Ashes series, are unprecedented. It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open for the final team selection,” Smith added.
England squad for Edgbaston Test: Joe Root, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes.