Jofra Archer hadn’t had the best of times in the Test series against India thanks to the nature of pitches and his recurring elbow injury, which forced him out of the 2nd and 4th Test but the right-arm pacer was right on the money in the five-match T20I series opener on Friday.
After having decided to bowl first, England needed a good start from their new-ball bowlers and that is exactly what they got from Adil Rashid and Jofra Archer.
Rashid conceded just two runs in the first over of the innings and then Jofra Archer backed it up with a brilliant second over in which he accounted for KL Rahul, who dragged it onto his stumps while trying to drive the fast bowler through the covers.
Archer backed up the wicket of KL Rahul with a brilliant first few deliveries to Virat Kohli, the best of them being the one where he got an extra kick from the surface.
The pressure that Archer created on Kohli forced the Indian skipper to go for a high-risk shot against Adil Rashid, which eventually led to his downfall.
Archer came back at the backend to claim the crucial wicket of Hardik Pandya [19 off 21 balls], who just like Virat Kohli, holed out at mid-off in an attempt to cut him over long-off. He claimed Shardul Thakur on the very next delivery after the Indian seam-bowling all-rounder hit the attempted hook shot straight to Dawid Malan in the deep.
Jofra Archer finished with figures of 3/23 in four overs and he was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ following England’s commanding eight-wicket victory.
Here’s what Jofra Archer said in the post-match interview:
”When the competition is tough you step up and competition brings out the best in me. Probably in the IPL (I see myself as the leader of the attack) but not in the England set up there are many world-class bowlers. I rather go for dot balls than wickets in the powerplay and if I get wickets it is a bonus. Usually for a new batter or you have the bigger side of the boundary you bowl the short ball. Everything has been very good,”