Daily Express

Hitman Archer bringing back the fear factor



JOFRA ARCHER has been backed to bring the fear to the England attack when he makes his longawaite­d return to the side tomorrow evening. Archer, 29, who has not played for his country on home soil since September 2020 because of a chronic elbow injury, is on course to face Pakistan at Headingley in the opening game of a four-match T20 series.

And with the T20 World Cup starting next month, England team-mate Sam Curran is crossing his fingers the 90mph hitman’s curse has finally been lifted. “It’s incredibly exciting,” said Curran, right. “I’m sure England fans and players are extremely buzzed to have him back.

“He’s got that extra pace and fear factor we can bring to opposition.

“I think he’s extremely excited and hopefully he starts well.

“Jof’s had a really tough couple of years. We all hope he can come back and do what he does for England, and bring the A-game that we know he’s got.” Archer operated at full tilt in the nets yesterday, coming through with no ill effects after delivering a rapid six-over spell for the Sussex Second XI on Friday in his first competitiv­e match for more than a year.

Even Pakistan are pleased to see him back – although that view might change after facing him from 22 yards.

All-rounder Imad Wasim said: “It’s good to see him playing for England again – he’s an amazing bowler.

“Extra pace does make a lot of difference, but you have to play extra pace in top cricket so hopefully we will deal with it.

“We have Haris Rauf, who has extra pace as well.”

The clash in Leeds will be the first time the two sides have met since the T20 World Cup final in Australia 18 months ago.

The looming trophy defence adds an extra piquancy to this series for England, with it being their last chance to tune up for the Caribbean showpiece.

Surrey star Curran said: “When we arrived this morning there was a buzz around the group.

“It seems like the boys are really fizzed about this trophy hopefully coming back.

“It’s a nice vibe in the group with some guys coming off really good IPL form and county form as well.

“The group is in a good place.”

Liam Livingston­e, who returned home from the IPL early with a knee problem, is expected to be available tomorrow.

But the home team may choose to bleed in the Lancashire all-rounder later in the series.

England are hopeful that coach Matthew Mott, who was absent because of a family issue yesterday, will be able to join up with the squad today.

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 ?? ?? POINTING THE WAY: Archer is back after long absence
POINTING THE WAY: Archer is back after long absence

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