Rob Key, Managing Director of England Cricket, is optimistic about the potential impact that pacer Jofra Archer could have on the upcoming Ashes series against Australia, starting June 16. Despite not playing Test cricket since February 2021 and undergoing three surgeries over the past two years, Archer has made a strong comeback during England’s white-ball tours to South Africa and Bangladesh earlier this year.
Currently working on his fitness during the IPL, Archer’s contributions are expected to be crucial this summer as Ben Stokes aims to assemble a powerful bowling attack to challenge Australia. However, Archer’s IPL performance has been somewhat disappointing, with only two wickets in four matches and an economy rate of 10.37.
Key shared his expectations with Sky Sports, stating, “We are going to select for the Ireland test, so hopefully he will be available for selection for that, at this point I am assuming he will be.” He went on to highlight England’s diverse bowling lineup, featuring the likes of Archer, Mark Wood, Ollie Stone, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson, with the goal of having at least eight bowlers prepared for the Ashes.
Key expressed his confidence in Archer, saying, “We expect Jofra to be a massive part of that, and I think Jofra at some point will have a massive impact in the Ashes.”
There are also concerns surrounding Jonny Bairstow’s fitness for the Ashes after breaking his leg on a golf course last September. Missing England’s successful T20 World Cup campaign and winter Test series, Bairstow has been playing for Yorkshire, hoping to secure a spot this summer. Key emphasized the importance of Bairstow’s full recovery before discussing his potential inclusion in the Ashes squad. He also acknowledged that it’s up to Bairstow to decide on the best approach to make his way back into the team.