Jofra Archer: Criticism of England bowler’s speeds is unfair, says Michael Vaughan

Jofra Archer: Criticism of England bowler's speeds is unfair, says Michael Vaughan 1
Impressive Archer takes two early wickets

Criticism that Jofra Archer doesn’t bowl at top speed often enough is “out of order”, says former England captain Michael Vaughan.

The 25-year-old bowled an exhilarating spell on the final day of the first Test against West Indies in Southampton, but his 3-45 could not prevent England falling to a four-wicket defeat.

Vaughan, who believes it is “impossible” to consistently bowl in excess of 90mph, said: “I’d have him in my team all the time.”

Speaking on the BBC Radio 5 Live Tuffers and Vaughan podcast, Vaughan added: “When I see those spells like I did yesterday, you just know he’s got that point of difference.”

During the first Test against West Indies, the tourists’ former fast bowler Tino Best appeared to criticise Archer’s speeds, tweeting that Archer has “not bowled quickly” since last summer’s Ashes series against Australia.

Vaughan, however, says it is “impossible” for fast bowlers to reach top speed with every delivery.

“Going forward he will have frustrating days, he’s a young bowler. Will he become really consistent the older he gets? Maybe.

“Look at [Australia’s] Brett Lee and [Pakistan’s] Shoaib Akhtar. They have lots of spells where you just go ‘come on, you can crank it up’, but it’s impossible. The body just doesn’t allow you to do it every single over that you bowl.

“But when you get that click, that six or seven overs where everything is in sync and you see the ball flying down at 90mph-plus causing chaos, that’s why you put Jofra Archer in your team.

“I was delighted with Jofra’s spell yesterday – he was back to doing what he does best.”

‘West Indies can go all the way to number one’

The second Test of the three-match series begins at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday, with West Indies knowing victory would see them retain the Wisden Trophy they earned with a series victory in the Caribbean 18 months ago.

West Indies also won at Headingley the last time they toured England in 2017, having improved considerably since captain Jason Holder took over in 2015.

They are seventh in the current World Test Championship, albeit having only played three matches, but one-day specialist Carlos Brathwaite believes they can become the best five-day team in the world.

“The only thing, if I’m being brutally honest, that I can see from stopping this team going all the way to number one in the world is more consistent batsmanship,” said Brathwaite, who is working as an analyst for the BBC during the series.

“Their batters need to do exactly what Jermaine Blackwood did – come in, absorb the momentum and transfer the pressure back onto the bowlers.

“Then the shift for me now is being selfish enough to not only score 60-80 but to go on and get a 100, 150 or a double hundred.

“You see what Steve Smith did in the Ashes, he basically wore down the bowlers and won the Test for Australia and we need some West Indies batters to put their hands up and not be content with the odd 60 or 70 and look at scoring big scores.

“Then we can really challenge for number one or two in the world and we can really compete again on all fronts.”

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