Barbadian-born Jofra Archer wouldn't make the West Indies Cricket World Cup squad, according to Windies skipper Jason Holder.

After a convincing 106-run victory over Bangladesh, England will be up against a vibrant West Indies unit in their fourth match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

After a shocking defeat to Pakistan, England aced every department against Bangladesh, as they first put up 386/6 on board and then bundled them out for 280 in the 49th over. The openers, determined not to fall into the trap of spin bowling, gave a perfect start, as Jason Roy stroked his way to 153. While Stokes has been giving some priceless overs with the ball, Moeen Ali is likely to return in the playing eleven, considering the number of left handers in the West Indies line-up.

On the other hand, the West Indies' bowlers might have lit up the tournament so far but it was the lack of application on the batting front that cost them the game against Australia. Their pacers started well against South Africa too, with Sheldon Cottrell picking up two early wickets, before no further play was possible due to rain interruption. The batsmen will have to step up, to set it up for their bowlers who will be challenged by the never-ending English batting line-up.

Once their very own, now their adversary, Jofra Archer will look to defy Chris Gayle and others, promising an exciting contest within a contest at the Hampshire Bowl on Friday.

Key Players

Eoin Morgan (England): The England captain is yet to produce an innings that would match his stature in the tournament so far. Morgan, who averages 76.25 at the Hampshire Bowl and was the highest run-scorer for England in the ODI series against West Indies earlier this year, might be the biggest threat to his opponents on Friday.

Chris Gayle (West Indies): Chris Gayle had lit up the tournament with a power-packed 50 against Pakistan but could last only till the fifth over against Australia. The Universe Boss relishes batting against England averaging 51.42 against the hosts, contrary to his career average of 38.14 and will look to stamp his authority early on in the innings.

It would be a cloudy start to the day which would assist the fast bowlers early on, tempting the captains to field first. The afternoon will see rain becoming a bit showery with some brighter spells developing later.

Squads

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas

 West Indies bowling coach Cory Collymore is confident the team’s star batsman Chris Gayle will relish the challenge of facing Barbadian-born pace bowler Jofra Archer.

The Windies are booked to face England in what is expected to be a thrilling contest at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground on Friday.  Despite being in the twilight of his career, Gayle remains a formidable force at the top of the Caribbean team’s batting order and his match-up against the up and coming pace bowler Archer is expected to be one of the highlights of the match.  Having claimed six-wickets so far and regularly reaching speeds in excess of 90mph, Archer is having a splendid tournament to date.  Collymore is, however, confident that Gayle will rise to the challenge.

"Chris thrives on that.  I have known him since he was 16 and he has always loved a challenge," said Collymore said.

"He has always enjoyed the challenge of fast bowling so I expect him to relish that. I have known Archer for a while and I saw (Mark) Wood in the Caribbean last year,” he added.

"They are both very impressive, as we have seen throughout this tournament."

Wood faces a late fitness test ahead of the encounter.

Jofra Archer is looking forward to seeing familiar faces when England face West Indies at the Cricket World Cup but isn't expecting any hostility from his new rivals.

England pace bowler Mark Wood believes the best way to tackle West Indies talisman Chris Gayle is with the raw pace of Barbadian-born speedster Jofra Archer.

The match-up between Archer and Gayle is likely to be one of the key ones when the Windies face the hosts at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground on Friday. 

A belligerent Gayle dominated the bowling the last time the teams met in the One Day International (ODI) format, which ended in a 2-2 draw in the Caribbean.  It was Gayle who was named man-of-the-series after finishing it with 424 runs at an average of 106, with 39 sixes.

Archer was, however, not a part of the squad on that occasion and has since had a splendid World Cup.  In addition to his express pace rattling batsmen, the bowler has claimed figures of 6 for 135.  Wood is confident his bowling partner can slow the big West Indian down.

“Get Jofra to bowl at him!” was Wood ‘solution to the Gayle conundrum.

“He is destructive and on his day he is hard to stop. In the West Indies, he was in great form, but you didn’t know how he was going to play. Some days he would get himself in and take his time and other days he would go ballistic from ball one,” he added.

Windies interim coach Floyd Reifer insists the team will not be rattled by facing Barbadian-born England pacer Jofra Archer, despite the bowler consistently thundering down speeds of 90mph throughout the World Cup so far.

Despite several claims to the contrary, there will be an added layer of intrigue when the Barbadian takes the pitch against the Windies, a team he represented on three occasions as a junior, before deciding to switch allegiances to England.  

Archer has been in impressive for England and recently bowled the quickest ever ODI spell by an England player, against Bangladesh, since records began 13 years ago. Reifer was quick to insist the Barbadian will offer very little the team hasn’t come across before.

“Our batsmen led by Chris Gayle —will not shy away from Archer’s speed,” Reifer said on Monday.

“It will be entertaining, we are all here to entertain. I am sure Jofra will be chomping at the bit to come at us but we will be ready for him,” he added.

“We have known Jofra for a long time, he is from Barbados. We knew him from under15, under-17 and under-19 so he is not new to us,” Reifer said.

“He is bowling quickly but that is nothing we are not accustomed to. We are looking forward to the challenge. I actually played club crick­et against him as a young guy. Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that.”

The teams will face off at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground on Friday.

 

Barbadian-born English fast bowler Jofra Archer insists the upcoming match-up against the team he once represented, the West Indies, will be just another game of cricket.

The 24-year-old Archer represented the West Indies U-19s three times in 2014, before moving to England and deciding to represent that nation.  Archer is eligible to represent England since his father holds a British passport.

Initially, the player was not expected to represent the country until 2022 as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) rules stated that as he did not live in England until after his 18th birthday, he needed to complete a seven-year residency period. 

Last November, however, the ECB changed its rules, reducing the eligibility period from seven years to three, which saw the bowler making his debut in May.

After a strong start to the ICC World Cup, Archer’s next opponents, a match slated for June 10, will represent the place he once called home and players he once stood shoulder to shoulder with.

“It’s just another game of cricket, same as today, same as the last game,” Archer told BBC Sport after a strong performance against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Friday.

 “I know them pretty good. I played with a few of the guys in under-19s, so it will be good to actually play against them this time. I’ll be able to share some knowledge but I do that whenever we play.”

Quinton de Kock believes England lived up to their tag of World Cup favourites after dismantling South Africa in the opening match.

Jofra Archer starred with the ball for tournament hosts England on Thursday at The Oval, while Ben Stokes - who scored 89 - took an incredible catch as Eoin Morgan's side claimed a 104-run victory.

South Africa opener De Kock hit a belligerent 68, but was dismissed when he hooked to Joe Root off Liam Plunkett, prompting a middle and lower order collapse.

The wicketkeeper-batsman acknowledged it is difficult to see too many sides having the quality to beat England, the world's top-ranked side.

"There's a lot of pressure on them but it's a nice pressure to have, it's always nice going into a World Cup knowing that you’re one of the favourites," De Kock said.

"Playing the way they have been in the last couple of years, they're a dominant force batting. Guys like Joe Root hold the whole team together, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, they can bat right to 11.

"And then you've got their spin twins Moeen [Ali] and Adil [Rashid] controlling the middle and now they've got Archer up front. They're going to be a tough team to beat."

Asked how South Africa can bridge the gap to England, he added: "We're working at it. 

"It didn't happen for England over one series, it took them time."

South Africa made a brilliant start when spinner Imran Tahir - opening the bowling - claimed Bairstow's wicket with the second ball of the day.

But England settled to make 311, with Archer, who took 3-27, setting the tone for a rampant bowling display, and De Kock was hugely impressed by the 24-year-old's performance.

"I've faced Jofra a couple of times now. He's a proper bowler, he bowls with good heat, good areas and he’s got good skills," De Kock said.

"He backs himself which obviously helps him. He's very suited to this England bowling attack, he brings them wicket-taking options and he'll end up doing very well for England not just in the World Cup, but also over future years."

If England are to finally win the Cricket World Cup, they will view events that happened in 2015 as the turning point.

Four years ago in Australia and New Zealand, the ODI team hit rock bottom. An outdated, pedestrian approach to 50-over cricket was exposed as they were thrashed in four of their opening five games and meekly exited the tournament. 

It was a wake-up call that prompted a revolution. England became more aggressive, developed a ruthless streak and entered this tournament, on home soil, as the ICC's top-ranked nation and the favourites to end their wait for a maiden World Cup triumph.

And yet if Eoin Morgan is to lift the trophy at Lord's on July 14, it may well be because of another 2015 event.

It was four years ago when Barbados-born Jofra Archer upped sticks and moved to England having been frustrated by a lack of opportunities with West Indies.

Back then he would not have been in the England and Wales Cricket Board's plans for the 2019 World Cup. Had the previous residency requirements stayed in place, Archer would likely have been playing county cricket for Sussex on Thursday.

Instead, the rules were relaxed and Archer was spearheading England's attack, his 3-27 the driving force behind a 104-run victory over South Africa in the World Cup opener at The Oval.

After watching Archer unsettle the Proteas' top order, it is hard to imagine why there was even any discussion about whether he should be named in the 15-man squad once he qualified to play for England in March.

The doubters pointed to Sam Burgess' inclusion in England's 2015 Rugby World Cup squad just six months after his union debut. The subsequent humiliating tournament the hosts endured left Burgess scapegoated.

Why would their cricket equivalents risk upsetting their own applecart with a player who only made his ODI debut earlier this month when they already looked so primed for glory with a settled squad? 

That question was put to bed emphatically on Thursday. This is supposed to be the tournament when England's batsmen take centre stage but having posted 311-8 on a green-tinged surface, it was Archer who needed to be the difference-maker. 

His impact was felt even before he took his first wicket, a vicious 90mph short ball rearing up and crashing into Hashim Amla's helmet grille in the fourth over, forcing the opener off hurt, though he would later return.

It was Archer who made the first breakthrough too as he responded to Aiden Markram crashing him through the covers for four by finding the South African's edge with the very next delivery.

Captain Faf du Plessis was the next to fall. Another shorter ball top-edged to Moeen Ali at fine leg. The extra pace, the added bounce, was proving too much for a South African team that looked like deer in the headlights every time Archer started his run up.

By the end of his first five-over spell - which yielded 2-20 - South Africa were 44-2 and up against it. And when Archer returned for the 32nd over, half-centurion Rassie van der Dussen became his third victim with another miscued swipe, this one reaching Moeen at mid-on.

At that point the game was done. Ben Stokes, himself curiously omitted from the 2015 World Cup squad, had top-scored for England with 89 and later produced one of the greatest catches ever with a diving one-handed take to account for Andile Phehlukwayo, yet it was Archer who made the most telling impact.

England's path to potential glory in July may have started in 2015, and they may get there thanks to the newcomer who has been plotting his international journey for just as long.

England opted to pick Jofra Archer and Liam Plunkett for their Cricket World Cup opener against South Africa as the hosts left out Mark Wood and were made to bat first at The Oval.

Barbados-born Archer, who only became eligible to be selected for England in March, was expected to feature after impressing in the World Cup tune-ups this month, and Plunkett, rather than Wood, was included by the hosts too.

Wood had scans on an ankle injury sustained in a warm-up fixture against Australia last weekend and, though he was cleared to face the Proteas, he missed out, along with James Vince, Liam Dawson and Tom Curran.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn (shoulder) had already been ruled out for South Africa, whose captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and inserted England. 

England made light work of Afghanistan at The Oval in their final ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup warm-up match, Jason Roy hitting 89* from 46 balls in a thumping nine-wicket win. 

England fast bowler David Willey has expressed concerns regarding the potential selection of Barbadian-born fast bowler Jofra Archer for the upcoming World Cup.

The 23-year-old Archer was the recent beneficiary of a shift in regulations by residency qualification period, which moved from seven years to three.  Archer will be eligible to play for his adopted country from March 17.  If reports are to be believed the player will be called for ODIs against Ireland and Pakistan that precede the final deadline for the World Cup squad.

The 29-year-old Willey, however, one of those who could face competition with Archer to be part of the final squad, does not seem to believe the player has necessarily proven his value in the 50-over game.

Archer has a List A bowling average of 30.71 and concedes, on average, 5.29 runs per over; Willey averages 31.64 and has an economy rate of 5.65.  Willey has played 42 ODIs and 121 List A matches while Archer has played 14 List A games.

"It's an interesting dilemma for the captain, coaches and selectors," Willey said. "It's a group of players that have been together for three or four years now that have got us to No.1.

"And there's a reason for that. Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they're available, whether that's the right thing, I don't know."

Johnny Grave, Cricket West Indies Chief Executive Officer, is not pleased with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) who revised their eligibility criteria in a bid to make sure that Barbadian paceman Jofra Archer can turn out for the country.

According to Grave, the concern is not just over Archer, but that other talented Caribbean players could be lured away from playing for their region, using the same ‘long-term county contracts’ that have paved the way for Archer.

The Windies were hoping they would have had Archer for the World Cup in 2019, but the exciting 23-year-old, one of the brightest prospects in world cricket today, made it clear, his intentions to turn out for England whenever eligibility requirements were met.

The ECB had previously required that for a player to be eligible to turn out for England, they must have seven years of residency under their belt, however, last week that was reduced to just three.

“We respect Jofra’s decision, the rules allow him to [switch country]. But on a personal level, and as an Englishman, I don’t like the concept of the ECB poaching players who have been part of another system up to the age of 19,” said Graves.

“I hope no other West Indian cricketers follow that path and hope it doesn’t lead to counties doing their talent ID in the Caribbean, taking our players into the public school system and then on to offering them lucrative long-term county contracts and then possibly on to playing for England.”

Interestingly, Archer’s first game for England could very well be in the Caribbean next year when England tour the region for three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20s from January 23 to March 10. Archer would become eligible to play for England in March, right in time for the T20 fixtures.

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