Jan 26 (Reuters) – Jofra Archer rates himself as “around 80%” fit ahead of his long-awaited return to England, but the fast bowler is determined to get himself back to the form that saw him star in 2019 Ashes and Cricket World Cup.
Archer spearheaded England’s 50-over World Cup success at home that year, bowling super overs that helped them lift the trophy, taking 22 wickets in the Ashes series against Australia.
Elbow and back injuries disrupted his career for the past two years and the 27-year-old only made a comeback earlier this month in South Africa’s Twenty20 league, impressing with eight wickets in five matches.
Archer will make his first England appearance since March 2021 in the three-match ODI series against South Africa, which starts in Bloemfontein on Friday.
With an Ashes series and World Cup looming this year, he is keen to pick up where he left off.
“Hopefully it can be a repeat of 2019,” Archer said. “We have a 50-over World Cup again and an Ashes in the same year, so more of the same, please.
“I’m going to spend the next two, three, four months fine-tuning the body and making myself a bit more robust. Let me fix that first and then I can look forward to holding the red ball in my hand again.
“I know when I’m fully fit I don’t think there’s much that can stop me, it’s just a matter of when.”
A fit and in-form Archer would be a huge boost to England’s World Cup title defense as well as their bid to win the Ashes for the first time since 2015.
“It’s an exciting prospect to think about playing with the boys again, especially with the brand of cricket they play, which is very exciting,” Archer added.
“I might have to do some extra bowling in the weeks I’m in India (for the Indian Premier League). But that’s perfectly fine because I want to play in the Ashes so I’ll have to do everything. the hard yards to tick those boxes.”
Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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