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Jofra Archer’s ‘goosebumps’ comeback fuels England’s T20 World Cup defence
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Jofra Archer’s ‘goosebumps’ comeback fuels England’s T20 World Cup defence

Jofra Archer’s long-awaited England return was a goosebumps moment for his close friend Chris Jordan, who now believes Archer will offer the attack a “different-level mood” come the T20 World Cup defence next month.

It was a point hard to quibble after the 23-run win against Pakistan at a sold-out Edgbaston on Saturday, Archer shaking off a rusty 15-run first over with the ball to help shut down the run chase with figures of two for 13 from his remaining three.

Coming after a 14-month injury layoff – a rehabilitation period Archer likened to a “hamster wheel” – it offered a reminder of the 29‑year‑old’s ­slippery pace and wonderfully disguised short ball, underlined when Azam Khan skewed a drive to cover.

“It gave me goosebumps to see him take that wicket,” said Jordan, instrumental to the 1-0 series lead ­himself with a wicket and two ice-cool catches in the deep. “In the last six months I feel like I’ve seen a shift in his vibe and his mindset. He seemed really happy stepping on the field. He might not have looked it, but I bet he was quite nervous.”

Asked about the impact of ­Archer’s return on teammates, ­Jordan replied: “It’s a different-level mood. Every batsman that came out, they were thinking about the bouncer ­straight away. That in itself adds a ­different dynamic to the bowling attack, and some good variety as well. I think we’ve got a good mix. Hopefully we can keep building on it.”

On helping Archer through the darker days, Jordan said: “It was very balanced. At times you can say too much; get a bit repetitive. Because you care, you try to check in as much as possible. Other times, he probably needed to do the journey himself, find his own way, find his own mentality. To be honest he’s done a lot of it on his own.”

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A second look at Archer and co follows in Cardiff on Tuesday, the first of two remaining T20s against Pakistan before they fly to ­Barbados on Friday, with their World Cup group‑stage opener against Scotland at ­Kensington Oval on 4 June.

Source: theguardian.com