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Jofra Archer steps forward on possible Test return: ‘I have to become more resilient’


Ofra Archer has spoken of his excitement at joining England’s Bazball Revolution and is confident he can make his body “more resilient” in time to play a major role in this summer’s Ashes series.

Archer is set to make his long-awaited return to England when Jos Buttler’s side begin their ODI series in South Africa on Friday, almost two years after their last international outing.

The 27-year-old has already made an impressive return to competitive cricket in South Africa’s SA20 franchise league this month, playing five games for MI Cape Town, and a 50-year-old’s first appearance since September 2020 will mark a milestone. another step in his recovery from elbow and back problems.

The sight of Archer entering Steam again has already whetted the appetite for a Test return this summer, with Red Ball captain Ben Stokes tweeting his excitement at the couturier’s debut in SA20.

“It’s an exciting prospect to think about playing with the guys again, especially with the brand of cricket they play, which is very exciting,” said Archer, whose last test came in India in early 2021. , more than 12 months before Stokes and Brendon McCullum took charge of the team.

“But I think I have to spend the next two, three, four months to refine the body and make myself a little more resistant. Let me sort this out first, then I can look forward to holding the red ball in my hand again.

If all goes well next week, Archer is set to continue his stay in South Africa by joining England’s White Ball tour in Bangladesh in March, before heading to the Indian Premier League with Mumbai Indians.

The crossover between this tournament and the start of the English summer means Archer is unlikely to play top-class cricket before the Ashes, but he insisted he was confident he was ready for the Test action if called.

“Yeah, overs are overs and you practice and play until you feel good,” he said. “Obviously I might have to do a little more bowling during the week in India, but that’s fine because I want to play in the Ashes, so I’m going to have to do all the hard yards to tick those boxes.”

Archer was one of the stars of the hit Ashes 2019 home series, with the Sussex man’s battle with Australian batter Steve Smith at Lord’s being one of the most memorable Test cricket stints in recent years .

Last week it was announced that Smith had signed a short-term deal with Sussex to help him prepare for the series, a move that has divided opinion given the scarcity of opportunities for England players to play. at Sheffield Shield cricket ahead of the Down Under tours. .

“No thoughts [on it]Archer added. “I’ll probably be in India so I don’t think we’ll meet until Ashes. Everyone is trying to prepare, to do the best they can for their country. If he’s having a good summer, then fine, so be it.

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