Jofra Archer’s dazzling fast bowling has already made him World Cup star… but it’s no surprise to England team-mates


JOFRA ARCHER’S fearsome fast bowling has already shaken some of the world’s best batsmen and marked him as a World Cup star.

But Archer’s impact comes as no surprise to his England team-mates.

Jofra Archer starred in England’s Cricket World Cup opener against South Africa
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For the past four weeks, they have had the dubious pleasure of facing Archer’s express deliveries in the nets — and it is not an enjoyable experience.

All-rounder Moeen Ali revealed: “Jofra is amazing to have in the side and he makes good batters do different things with that extra bit of pace.

“I’ve batted against him in the nets and he’s the fastest I’ve ever faced. He’s unbelievable.

“He gives us that bit of something where we can win games even if we don’t score many runs because he unsettles batsmen.

“Nobody wants to face him. I think he’ll be a huge asset for us, he definitely gives us that X factor.”

Against South Africa at The Oval on Thursday, Archer forced Hashim Amla to retire hurt after the opener was late on an attempted pull shot and the ball crashed into his helmet grille.

The Sussex speedster, 24, took two wickets in his opening spell, later added a third and finished with 3-27.

There is little warning of Archer’s explosive pace as he almost ambles to the crease.

I’ve batted against him in the nets and he’s the fastest I’ve ever faced. He’s unbelievable.

Moeen Ali on Jofra Archer

But there is rhythm, co-ordination and fast-twitch muscles as he releases the ball.

His bouncer is especially rapid — and that delivery struck Amla and dismissed Faf du Plessis.

Do not forget England have Mark Wood, another 90mph bowler, to bring into their team.

Moeen added: “I was fielding at fine leg and, even though it always looks faster from side-on, the ball that hit Amla was very fast.

“You’re always a bit worried for the batsman. I was a little surprised Amla came out to bat again but he must have passed the concussion test.”

England’s players enjoyed a day off from cricket yesterday before they practise at Trent Bridge today ahead of their next match against Pakistan on Monday.

Most took part in a charity golf day and could contemplate a hugely encouraging start to the tournament.


Archer was penetrating, Ben Stokes produced a compelling all-round performance and the fielding was electrifying.

Everyone is rightly talking about Stokes’ wonder catch but the rest of the fielding was brilliant, too, with a string of blocks, chases and dives.

The CricViz fielding index — devised by team numbers guru Nathan Leamon — ranked it England’s second-best fielding performance since the database began in 2016, behind only a plus-51 rating against New Zealand in 2018.

Each significant piece of fielding — such as stops and catches — are rated by difficulty and given a value for the runs they save. The match total was plus-65, with England contributing 35 and South Africa 30.

So it was England’s fast bowling and fielding that really caught the eye, rather than the destructive batting which has been the hallmark of their one-day revolution under skipper Eoin Morgan.

Opener Jason Roy explained: “As a collective, our fielding was very good.

“We pride ourselves on our fielding and we’ve been disappointed with quite a lot of it over the last year.

“But the boys turned up at The Oval and showed what we’re about on the big stage, so we’re really proud.

“There’s a buzz because, if you save a run and the same guy is on strike and then there’s a wicket, you feel like you’ve played a part in it.”

Archer took three wickets against South Africa as England won by 104 runs at the Oval
Getty – Contributor
Moeen Ali has declared that Archer is the fastest bowler he has ever faced
AP:Associated Press



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