England’s World Cup seamers in focus
A look at England’s pace options after Jofra Archer was named in the squad.
Jofra Archer has been selected to bolster England’s pace options for this summer’s World Cup, with David Willey the unlucky man to miss out.
Here, Press Association Sport assesses each of England’s seamers and why they were selected or, in Willey’s case, omitted.
The Barbados-born Sussex star became eligible for his adopted homeland in March after the qualifying rules were changed and has wasted no time playing himself into the squad.
Despite taking only three wickets in three abridged one-day internationals to date, as well as two for 29 on his Twenty20 debut, Archer’s pace and accuracy have lit up Dublin, The Oval and Trent Bridge.
His economy rate of just 4.91 runs per over stands out from the pack, with Liam Plunkett’s 6.28 the next best by an England seamer during 2019.
The Warwickshire man is England’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs this year with 13, along with spinner Adil Rashid, and rubber-stamped his place with five for 54 against Pakistan at Headingley on Sunday.
His 2019 strike rate of a wicket every 27.69 deliveries leads the pack, while his average of 32.15 this year is bettered only by Mark Wood.
While younger brother and Surrey team-mate Sam has taken the Test arena by storm, Tom has become a key man in the white-ball team.
His average this year is fractionally behind Woakes’ at 32.22 and his strike rate also trails only Woakes and Wood, while a middle-of-the-pack economy rate of 6.56 is impressive considering his regular role as a death bowler.
England’s most experienced ODI seamer along with Woakes, Plunkett has maintained his form and pace this year with that solid economy rate bolstered by nine wickets in seven innings.
He averages 34.89 this year with a strike rate of 33.33 and, in common with most of his rivals for a place, can contribute useful lower-order runs.
The Durham flyer offers pace to rival Archer, giving England a fearsome twin spearhead at 90mph-plus, and is a popular team man.
He has been rewarded with nine wickets in just five innings this year, leading England’s pace options with an average of 30.33 and trailing only Woakes with a strike rate of 28.67.
The Yorkshire left-armer provides useful versatility when in the England XI, but an untimely dip in form saw him make way for the irresistible Archer.
Willey has been selected for only four ODIs this year, taking four wickets but averaging 56 with a strike rate of 52.50.
The presence of Stokes in the middle order helped make Willey expendable, with the Durham all-rounder providing additional depth in the pace attack.
Stokes essentially replicates Willey’s bowling statistics with an average of 57.60 and strike rate of 51.60, but he has also averaged 50.80 with the bat this year, making 79 against the West Indies and an unbeaten 71 against Pakistan.