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Archer: I've only shown a glimpse of my quality

 

Looking up: Jofra Archer believes he will keep progressing as he becomes more settled into life with England
Looking up: Jofra Archer believes he will keep progressing as he becomes more settled into life with England

By Rory Dollard

Jofra Archer has taken international cricket in his stride so far and believes he can continue improving as the World Cup gets under way.

Archer has been in the England set-up for less than a month but seems certain to take up new-ball duties in the tournament opener against South Africa tomorrow.

His smooth run-up and unsettling pace have left team-mates and pundits purring since he made his debut against Ireland, even though he has bowled only 26 competitive overs and taken five wickets to date.

If that looks like a slim body of work then it only tells half the story, for Archer has already proved himself at ease on the big stage with two stand-out seasons in the Indian Premier League as well as a starring role in Australia's Big Bash.

"I feel pretty good, it (international cricket) is not much different to anything I've been doing recently so it doesn't feel like a big transition," he said.

"I've been put in pressure situations a few times since playing out in India, so I think I know what to look forward to if it happens.

"You can't say for certain what's going to come because it's cricket. It's an unknown really. I'm just going in with an open mind. I would say there is a bit more to come.

"For me nothing has changed, I still have to do the same things. I need to hit the top of off stump and bowl as straight as possible.

"Then at the back end there is the change of pace and yorkers. I've got a dream gig, bowling the same thing in both formats."

Archer admitted he would rather have had a few more spells in England colours, despite wrapping up his personal preparations with three wickets in the warm-up drubbing of Afghanistan, but is also glad to be heading into his first global competition well rested.

"I wish I had bowled a few more overs, I've bowled about 20 overs in the last month in a match situation, which isn't really ideal," he said. "I think 40 would have been good, double what I've done, but the flip side of that is you get to rest and I've had a long six months."

Ottis Gibson, the former England bowling coach now in charge of South Africa, is pleased to see his Bajan compatriot doing well.

"He's fresh, he's obviously talented, he's got a lot of pace and he's from Barbados so I'm glad that they picked him," he said.

"He's a very good kid, I've known him from a youngster growing up, so I'm really pleased for him.

"He's got a lot of talent, bowls quickly and he's a match-winner. Hopefully he won't have much of a say in this game but have a really good tournament after."

England seem to have 10 places in the first XI locked down, with Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran and Mark Wood vying for one shirt.

Wood arrived at The Oval for a solo bowling session on a day off for the team, continuing to build up to full fitness.

The 90mph paceman may be given another few days to test his troublesome left foot, meaning Plunkett could make his first World Cup appearance since 2007.

He is now the elder statesman of the side at 34 and revealed he has taken up yoga to extend his 14-year international career even further.

"I've been doing it quite a lot since the Caribbean tour this winter," he said.

"It's a bit different doing it in a hotel room here rather than on a Barbados beach. But I'm all or nothing: whether it's gym or running or yoga.

"As you get older you have to look after your body to prolong your career."

South Africa will not risk Dale Steyn for the World Cup opener against England as the paceman continues his comeback from a shoulder injury.

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