Former England seamer Angus Fraser admits he is concerned by the way Jofra Archer is being utilised in Test cricket, insisting the paceman is much better than just being an “enforcer”.
Archer has made a huge impact since being unleashed on the international scene in the summer, reaching speeds of 96mph and causing untold problems for batsmen as England won the World Cup before drawing the Ashes.
However, the 24-year-old’s first overseas Test was a challenging experience with the ball. He finished with figures of one for 107 off 42 overs as New Zealand inflicted an innings defeat on Joe Root’s men in the first Test at Mount Maunganui.
Of all 12 bowlers employed during the match, only spinner Jack Leach (47) sent down more overs in an innings than Archer, and Fraser fears England are not making the most of one of their most prized assets.
The Middlesex director of cricket, who took 177 wickets in 46 Tests for England, told Sky Sports: “The way Jofra Archer (is being used) at times concerns me a little bit because at the moment he seems just to be used as the enforcer, someone to come on and bowl short to try and rough up the opposition, and he’s better than that.
“He’s a wonderful cricketer, wonderful bowler, and maybe use him to get wickets in a more authentic way than just two men out on the hook and a short leg and that sort of stuff. So there’s some work to be done (by England) there.”
The way Jofra Archer (is being used) at times concerns me a little bit because at the moment he seems just to be used as the enforcerAngus Fraser
England’s chastening loss in Mount Maunganui has again seen the spotlight fall on Root’s captaincy.
Fraser accepts the Yorkshireman is under pressure but suggests replacing him is not necessarily guaranteed to solve England’s troubles.
The 54-year-old said: “I suppose when you look at that (calls to replace Root as captain) you say ‘Who else is there?’ And that’s not the reason to keep someone on, but be careful what you wish for to some extent.
“Joe’s under a bit of pressure, and you can’t hide that fact. England’s results in Test cricket have not been great and again you look at some of the decisions, could he have done other things?
“But quite a lot of the time a captain’s only as good as his bowlers, because you can have the best plans in the world but if your bowlers don’t bowl the ball where you want to, you can look a bit foolish.”