Jofra Archer given World Cup audition against Ireland and Pakistan as England keep faith with 15-man squad
- England have retained their 15-man squad from West Indies for the World Cup
- Jofra Archer named in 17-man squad for ODI series against Pakistan and Ireland
- Fast bowler has chance to stake his claim for the final squad named next month
Jofra Archer has been called up by England for the first time but the selectors have given themselves more time to decide who will miss out to allow his inclusion when the crunch comes for the World Cup.
The Barbadian-born protege, who has just qualified for the land of his father, is in a squad of 14 to face Ireland in a one-off one-day international in Dublin next month and in a party of 17 for the five match series against Pakistan that precedes this summer’s World Cup.
But he is not in the provisional squad of 15 for the World Cup that England had to name for marketing purposes before they finalise their plans a week before the tournament begins at the end of May.
Jofra Archer has been left out of England’s provisional 15-man squad for the World Cup
Archer has the chance to muscle his way in when England face Ireland and Pakistan
The Archer question has become a hot potato for England, who are desperate to fast-track his x-factor talent into their World Cup plans because he brings the ingredients of rapid death bowling, big hitting and exceptional fielding.
PROVISIONAL WORLD CUP SQUAD
Morgan (captain), Moeen, Bairstow, Buttler, T Curran, Denly, Hales, Plunkett, Rashid, Root, Roy, Stokes, Willey, Woakes, Wood.
Archer and Jordan added to face Ireland and Pakistan
But the selectors are still wrestling with just who misses out from a squad that has revolutionised England’s white-ball cricket and have taken them to the top of the world 50-over rankings.
England’s existing fast bowlers have been almost queuing up this week to play down Archer’s credentials as the realisation grips that one of them will be cast aside after doing so much to make England World Cup favourites.
David Willey set the ball rolling in the Caribbean and this week the mild-mannered figures of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes joined in by questioning whether it was fair for Archer to be bulldozed in to the squad at this late stage.
Eoin Morgan’s side go into a home World Cup as the No 1 side and favourites to lift the trophy
ENGLAND’S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE
May 30: South Africa (The Oval)
June 3: Pakistan (Trent Bridge)
June 8: Bangaldesh (Sofia Gardens)
June 14: West Indies (Rose Bowl)
June 18: Afghanistan (Old Trafford)
June 21: Sri Lanka (Headingley)
June 25: Australia (Lord’s)
June 30: India (Edgbaston)
July 3: New Zealand (Riverside)
July 9-11: Semi-finals (Old Trafford, Edgbaston)
July 14: Final (Lord’s)
That will not stop the selectors from making the big decisions, with Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett and Joe Denly the most vulnerable members of the provisional 15 when England name their final squad on May 22.
For now Archer will effectively be on trial against Ireland and Pakistan but he will have to perform very badly to miss out now with England convinced he is the answer to one of the few weaknesses in their 50-over armoury.
Chris Jordan, the man who recommended English cricket to Archer in the first place, is also in the 17-man extended squad on the back of his excellent Twenty20 performances against West Indies that concluded England’s Caribbean tour but for now remains a World Cup outsider.
David Willey (left) and others have voiced their concerns at dropping Archer into the squad