England paceman Jofra Archer has confirmed that he has successfully recovered from an elbow injury and is ready to be deployed against the West Indies.
The first of three Test matches between the two countries will get under way on 8 July at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton – the first professional international cricket match since the Covid-19 pandemic abruptly terminated the year’s cricket schedule.
Archer suffered a stress fracture to his right elbow during the early stages of England’s tour of South Africa at the beginning of the year, ruling him out of action ever since.
But, the 25-year-old, who was born in the West Indies, announced in his Daily Mail column that he is hoping to feature in all three encounters with Jason Holder’s men.
‘This past fortnight has been a lot different from the previous few weeks of practice as the intensity when you introduce batters goes up without you even noticing,’ Archer wrote.
‘Bowling has been a gradual progression but despite the fact that I was resting my elbow injury when we went into lockdown in March, I have followed similar loads to the other England Test bowlers. The first few days, I bowled four overs. Then, in the second week, I upped it to six; a couple of weeks later it became two spells of between five and six overs at a time.
‘So far everything feels like clockwork. Crunch in, crunch out, my body feels fresh, and there are no issues with my right elbow whatsoever, touch wood.’
Archer has had a dramatic rise on the international stage with his fiery fast-bowling, developing into one of the most feared bowlers in the world.
In his seven Test matches, Archer has already taken 30 wickets. Coupled with the experience of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, he will be hoping to cause the West Indies batsmen a great deal of problems.
‘Despite the fact that the three matches of this series are played in such a short space of time, I actually think I could play all three — but obviously everyone will be a bit cautious in terms of workload, thinking about the body and what lies ahead. So it won’t be the ability to do it that will stop bowlers being ever-present but concern about the physical implications of doing so,’ Archer added.