Hoggard admits Archer looks the ‘real deal’ but warns against Ashes hype
Archer is England’s leading wicket-taker at the World Cup.
Matthew Hoggard rates Jofra Archer as “an awesome talent” but is wary of over-hyping the England paceman and declaring him a shoo-in for an Ashes berth later this summer.
Archer has made a favourable impression in the early stages of his international career and is England’s leading wicket-taker in the World Cup with six scalps in their three opening matches.
Accomplished displays against South Africa and Bangladesh, in which he reached 95mph, were sandwiched by a more modest showing in the surprise defeat to Pakistan, shipping 79 runs in 10 wicketless overs.
Despite only seven limited-overs outings for England thus far, Archer’s raw speed and a reputation – honed in various domestic Twenty20 franchise leagues – for holding his nerve have seen him touted for an Ashes spot.
But former England seamer Hoggard, whose international career comprised of 67 Tests and 26 one-day internationals, told Press Association Sport: “There’s a very real thing of trying to build him up too much.
“We’ve still got to remember that he’s only played a handful of international games.
“Yes, he’s played in the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash but not that many on the international stage. He’s still learning on the job and he’s learning on the international stage with everybody watching.
“He’s an awesome talent, he’s got all the skill in the world and he’s got all the tools at his disposal. The big thing is just managing the expectations around him.
“The Ashes is a long way off. We need to park it and say ‘let’s concentrate on the games in front of us and then the selectors will see where we are come Test match time’.
“But he is not doing himself any disservice by performing and he looks to be the real deal.”
Hoggard is acutely aware of the pressures currently surrounding tournament hosts and favourites England, having played a full role in the 2005 Ashes.
Hoggard, speaking at Leigh CC in a showcase of how a grassroots cricket club can bring the community together and drive social connections, added: “The hard bit is the period in-between games, waiting for the games.
“The easy bit is playing because once you’re playing, you stick to your processes, you know what you’re doing on the cricket pitch.
“It’s fortunate that England are at home so they can get away from the cricket and make sure that they’re rested and get their heads around playing in the big games which are coming up.
“They’re number one in the world for a reason, they’re the favourite for the tournament for a reason.
“So they have to go out and not worry about the opposition and perform like they can do. We’ve seen that they can have blips but they have superb players.
“They have the personnel to go on and win it, they just need to focus on why they are number one and what made them number one.”
:: Matthew Hoggard was speaking at Leigh CC, who won an ECB competition designed to help grassroots clubs further connect with their local communities and help bring the excitement of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 into their clubhouse.