LONDON: Michael Vaughan says he will be “staggered” if rising star Jofra Archer plays no part in this season’s Ashes series even though the fast bowler has yet to make his Test debut for England.
Barbados-born Archer is only three games into an international career that started last week, with just two one-day internationals and a Twenty20 in England colours to his credit.
But such has been the Sussex paceman’s impact, particularly his ability to bowl at 90 mph (145 kmh) without apparent strain, that Vaughan is convinced he should feature in the Ashes, as well as the upcoming 50-over World Cup, even though the Test series does not start until August 1.
“I would be absolutely staggered if he’s not taking part in the Ashes series as well as the World Cup,” Vaughan told reporters in London yesterday at the launch of the 2019 NatWest No Boundaries campaign, which aims to increase access to cricket.
“He’s just got a gift and when you get that kind of quality you have to get those players involved in all formats of the game,” the former England captain added.
“He’ll win England World Cup games, he’ll win them T20 games and I’m very, very confident that he’ll have a big say in winning Test matches this summer as well as down the years.”
Joe Root, the current England Test captain, was understandably more guarded when asked about Archer’s Test prospects.
“When you watch him play in these games, you are always looking towards the Ashes,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see how he develops throughout these games and how he handles everything but so far I think he’s been fine.”
Vaughan acknowledged that Root, in his position as skipper, had to be more guarded as he thinks ahead to the five-match series against Australia.
“He’s outstanding,” said Vaughan. “He’s different, he plays cricket in the way I wished I could have played the game in terms of mentality.
“You speak to any psychologist and they will say ‘you’ve just got to play another game’. It’s very difficult at the highest level, there’s just too much going on in people’s minds,” the former top-order batsman added.
“I see no reason, whether it’s another game for the Hobart Hurricanes, the Rajasthan Royals to England in coloured clothes, to putting the whites on and playing Test match cricket - he bowls 90 mph, he’s got the skill levels.
“He (also) bats, he fields like a gun. He’ll be playing Test cricket soon.
“I will drive personally to Sheffield and drag him (Root) out of bed if he (Archer) is not involved in some stage during the Ashes.”
His words were endorsed by Test veteran Stuart Broad, whose new-ball partnership with James Anderson has long been the cornerstone of England’s red-ball attack.
“He’s quick, he’s exciting,” said Broad, whose 126 Tests have yielded 437 wickets at an average of under 30, of the 24-year-old Archer.
“His action is repeatable. He’s got great rhythm to his run-up, he generates effortless pace, has got control and bounce. He’s got all the attributes to succeed.”