Shropshire Star

Matthew Mott knows ‘world-class player’ Jofra Archer will make England stronger

The fast bowler is back on the scene after being sidelined for 14 months with elbow and back injuries.


Head coach Matthew Mott believes the long-awaited return of Jofra Archer makes England “enormously better” going into the T20 World Cup next month.

The fast bowler is back on the scene after being sidelined for 14 months with elbow and back injuries but has yet to prove his fitness.

Archer was robbed of some vital game-time as England’s opening encounter of a four-match T20 series with Pakistan at Headingley on Wednesday was washed out due to heavy rain.

Mott is very much planning for him to be involved in the tournament, where England will play some of their group games in Archer’s birthplace of Barbados.

Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer brings pace to England’s bowling attack (Danny Lawson/PA)

The Australian said: “That’s a huge boost, and I just think, personally, for him, it’s so exciting.

“He’s worked so hard. Our medical team worked so hard with him as well. His patience has been incredible, he loves competing, he loves playing, so he’s so excited to be back.

“He’s happy, he’s around the boys again and I think he’s going to go from strength to strength – just a world-class player and always want him around.

“He does make it an enormously better side when you look at his numbers, his impact.

“I mean every team wants a proper fast bowler, someone who can put the opposition under pressure, bowl through all phases of the game.

“If the game’s drifting you bring him on he’ll make something happen, it’s just an incredible bloke to have back around.”

Mott says England know their best team for the defence of the 2022 crown they won in Australia and it will become apparent during the remaining three games against Pakistan, starting at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Jonny Bairstow, fresh from a stint at the Indian Premier League, hosted a barbeque for his team-mates in the build-up to the Headingley game and Mott expects him to be sizzling at number four.

“I wasn’t here the first day or two and they had that barbecue – I think he was pretty excited to have everyone round to his house,” Mott added.

Matthew Mott
Matthew Mott’s side are defending T20 World Cup champions (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Anyone who knows Jonny, he loves that barbecue. He’s back with his family, he’s around here for a while and it’s amazing how quickly you can recharge as a cricketer.

“His experience will be priceless over there. If we lose a couple of wickets he can basically be like an opener and take the game on against the quicks but equally he’s so damaging against spin as well.

“It can be tricky in the middle overs in the Caribbean, spin is a factor.

“Someone like him who’s got 360 degrees around the ground, who can put the spinners under pressure, is going to be vital. I think it’s a great spot for him.”

Bairstow’s presence complements a powerful top order which could include the likes of captain Jos Buttler, Will Jacks, Ben Duckett and Phil Salt and Mott believes it is one of the strongest units in the game.

“There’s a lot of good batting units out there, but ours is certainly the equal of any,” he said.

“On our day, it’s a really formidable batting line-up, so yes it’s exciting what they can produce.

“Everyone talks about power-hitters, I think on the back of the last World Cup usually the top order is the one that wins you World Cups, gets you in front of the game, so they go out there with a lot of confidence to do that.”

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