Andrew Flintoff: “England Should Drop Anyone For Jofra Archer”

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Former England captain Andrew Flintoff thinks that England should drop ‘anyone’ from the ICC World Cup 2019 team to get in Jofra Archer.

Flintoff was impressed by Archer’s performance on his debut in an ODI and a T20 match. He bowled a 90.3 mph yorker to get his maiden wicket for England in the ODI match against Ireland, on Friday. The 24-year-old was brilliant on his debut T20 International against Pakistan with the bowling figures of 2-29.

Jofra Archer

Flintoff said in a statement, “He’s got to be in. Who I would get rid of? Anyone. He’s brilliant. I was watching him bowl the other day and I found it so frustrating that a bloke can bowl so fast with what looks like so little effort. He has so much control, all the tricks – slower balls, bouncers, yorkers – and the bats as well.”

Flintoff feels that Archer can turn out to be a surprising factor in the ICC World Cup 2019. He added, “Archer has that same ability to surprise people, to lead the way and raise the bar.”

Andrew Flintoff on Jofra Archer

Andrew Flintoff denied that inclusion of Archer will disrupt the harmony of the England team. “Team spirit is born out of winning, I played in a lot of sides, and the only ones that had team spirit were the successful ones. Parachuting someone in is not the issue.”

Flintoff said, “It’s a good position for England to be in – competition for places is what you always want, especially in one-day cricket because apart from these last few years we’ve never been very good at it.”

Jofra Archer is the son of a British father born in Barbados. He had qualified to play for England in March. The procedure to make Archer qualified to play in the England team was fast-tracked to make him available for the ICC World Cup 2019.

Jofra Archer was not included in the 15-man preliminary squad of the ICC World Cup 2019. But he can be selected for the five-match series against Pakistan starting on Wednesday at Oval. He is also taken into consideration in the final World Cup squad to be announced till May 23. While there were other players who voiced their concern over Jofra Archer’s inclusion in the World Cup squad.

Chris Woakes thought that with the coming of Jofra Archer, the bonding of the team would not be there. He said, “If he was to come in and someone was to miss out, it would be extremely unfortunate. I wouldn’t want to see any of my mates and team-mates miss out. We’ve been a tight-knit group for the last two to three years, played some really strong cricket, won a lot of series.” 

Chris Woakes on Jofra Archer

March Willey also questioned the thought of including Jofra Archer in the ICC World Cup 2019 squad. He asked, “whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they’re available, whether that’s the right thing, I don’t know.”

English Bowler Mark Wood also raised similar concerns. He said, “There is no doubt that Jofra is a world-class player. He plays in the hardest tournaments, the IPL, and the Big Bash, and excels.”

Wood said adding to that, “He would obviously be a great asset but would that affect the dynamic of the team? Would I want to see someone like Liam Plunkett, who has been our best bowler for three years, left out? No.”

Mark Wood on Jofra Archer

“Would I want to see myself left out? Obviously not. Would I want to see David Willey, who I am close friends with and who gives you a left-arm option, left out? No.”

Would I want to see Chris Woakes, who I am really good friends with and has taken loads of wickets, left out? No. Or Tom Curran, who has bowled well?” asked the 29-year-old.

On the other hand, English strike bowler James Anderson praised the Jofra Archer. He said, “That extra pace does make a difference. It can put fear into the opposition.”

James Anderson on Jofra Archer

That is the sort of thing that makes people take note. When you’re coming up against a bowler who rushes a top-order international batsman like that, it filters through other teams, ” said the Lancashire fast bowler.

James Anderson also felt that Jofra Archer can be a fear for the opposition team if included in the World Cup squad. He added, “If Jofra does make the 15 for the World Cup, the other teams will watch videos of him to get an idea of what they do and a video like that will fill them with fear.”