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‘Hope For Jofra’s Sake He Doesn’t Get Thrown Into Heat of the Battle’: Steve Harmison on Archer’s Selection as Reserve Player – News18

England pacer Jofra Archer (AFP Image)

Taking a dig at Jofra Archer’s selection as a reserve player Steve Harmison called it as nothing of need.

Former England cricketer Steve Harmison has praised England’s call-up of Gus Atkinson for the Cricket World Cup but warned taking Jofra Archer to the tournament in India as a travelling reserve would be a mistake. “It would be cruel,” he said.

Although the 25-year-old Surrey fast bowler, Atkinson’s inclusion in England’s preliminary 15-man World Cup squad came as a surprise, he has had an outstanding start to his international career, taking six wickets in his first two T20 matches, including a 4-wicket haul for 20 runs on his debut against New Zealand in Manchester last week.

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Harmison said, “He’s quick, he’s bowled well for Surrey this year. I think he’s done the hard yards to get into a position to be selected and England has decided they need some extra pace when they go out to India so I think he was the obvious choice.”

Harmison also praised Atkinson’s ability to bowl with variation and according to the nature of the pitch and admitted it was a unique quality of his.

“He’s bowled well in the Hundred, he’s clocked 95mph, but I think if he bowls in the mid-to-late 80s during the World Cup, let’s not jump and say, ‘why’s he not bowling 95 mph’ because I think it’s a different type of game, different type of format, different type of surface,” said Harmison.

He further added, “And because of that, he probably won’t hit the speeds of Mark Wood and possibly Jofra Archer. I don’t think he’s as quick as they are. But from what I’ve seen so far, I think the boy has got some natural talent and I think he’ll do well on Indian pitches.”

Jofra Archer, was the hero with the ball during England’s 2019 World Cup win, bowling the decisive Super Over in the final against New Zealand at Lord’s. Yet he has been out of cricketing action due to injury over the past three years and is only now building up to a return from a stress fracture of the elbow he sustained in the Indian Premier League in May

Also taking a dig at Jofra Archer’s selection as a reserve player he called it as nothing of need. Harmison thinks Jofra needs a comeback in international cricket, and it will be cruel to him to play directly in the World Cup.

“I think it might be a little bit cruel. I wouldn’t even take him. I think Jofra needs to find a way back into cricket, possibly away from England, just go and enjoy getting back on the field again,” said Harmison.

“Getting back on the field during a World Cup is just asking too much of somebody who has been out for such a long time. I don’t think it’s fair on him. I’d love to have him in the squad, he’s game-changing but if you take him as a travelling reserve, without any cricket, I think that’s a bit of an ask.

“England have decided they’re going to try and do that, and I hope for Jofra’s sake he doesn’t get thrown into the heat of the battle,” he concluded.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)

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