Can England Star Deliver On World Cup Promise?Bethany Lackey |
England boasts the strength in depth that allows them to remain competitive in white-ball cricket regardless of who is ruled in or out of their plans at any given tournament. Considerable time and effort have been spent ensuring that mistakes of the past are not repeated.
It does, however, go without saying that every side would prefer to be at full strength given the choice. Nobody – from teammates to supporters, to broadcast companies – wants to see superstar performers sat at home. The preference will always be to get key men out in the middle.
Sometimes, fate plays a different hand. England has, for the most part, found a way of dealing with that. They are, after all, the reigning world champions in the 50-over format and currently priced 3/1 odds within outright cricket betting markets at Betfair to retain that crown in 2023. Given that they have match-winning talent at their disposal with bat and ball, it comes as no surprise to find that Eoin Morgan’s side is the frontrunner for further prizes – especially as they also have some household names to absorb back into the fold.
Few will forget Jofra Archer’s debut year in international cricket, thanks to his heroics at the 2019 World Cup win and his explosion into Test cricket.— England Cricket (@englandcricket) October 31, 2021
Archer has taken 42 wickets in 13 Tests, but an elbow injury has halted his progress, ruling him out for much of 2021.#BHM pic.twitter.com/rltK3WURZ6
One of those is Jofra Archer. The Barbados-born seamer, who burst onto a global stage at the 2019 World Cup, has been enduring a tough time with injury of late. He was kept out of the T20 World Cup by an elbow problem and will also miss England’s Ashes tour of Australia this winter.
Can Archer deliver on his promises?
While Archer is being forced to rest and recuperate at present, he will be charging back into the crease before too long. Both he and England will hope that he returns fitter and stronger than ever. His value to any given collective cause is without question, particularly in the shorter forms of the game. The IPL’s Most Valuable Player from 2020 has taken 153 wickets through 120 T20 games at an average of 22.52 and with a strike rate of 17.60. 14 of those wickets have been taken in T20 internationals, with a further 30 claimed in ODIs.
England may not need Archer back, firing on all cylinders and bowling at 90-plus mph, but they would like to see him doing that. Competition for places helps to keep everyone on their toes. The man himself has vowed to shake off any fitness concerns and put himself in contention for regular outings across all formats. He has not grown accustomed to life as a spectator.
Def doing everything in my power so I never have to watch another tournament on the sofa again— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) October 29, 2021
He posted on social media during the T20 World Cup: “Def doing everything in my power so I never have to watch another tournament on the sofa again.”
Archer, as an elite sportsman operating at the highest level, knows that words count for little without actions to back them up. Making vows from the comfort of your living room is one thing, delivering on the said promise is a different matter entirely. England, and the wider cricketing community, expects a lot from Archer. Archer intends to deliver, and if he does, then the rest of the world had better watch out.