“He wants to be at the World Cup and he wants to be at the Ashes,” head coach says
Jofra Archer’s decision to miss the early stages of the IPL season in order to ensure his long-term fitness ahead of the T20 World Cup and the Ashes is a “very satisfying” one, in the eyes of England’s head coach Chris Silverwood.
England confirmed on Sunday that Archer would miss the ODI series in India and at least the start of the IPL in order to receive specialist medical attention, after the condition of his elbow injury worsened over the course of the T20I series.
Speaking after England’s journey from Ahmedabad to Pune on Sunday, Silverwood stressed that the decision for Archer to miss the start of the IPL had been a mutual one.
“It was a joint decision,” Silverwood said. “Both parties have put England first, basically. He needs to get this right. He needs some time to do that so we’ve made space to make sure that we gave him the best chance of being successful for England.
“All parties agreed on that, and obviously Jofra was very keen on that as well. He wants to be at the World Cup and he wants to be at the Ashes. It wasn’t a difficult decision by either side to be honest – I think it was a sensible decision.
“It is very satisfying and it shows how passionate Jofra is about playing for England and how much he enjoys playing for England. Equally we respect that, and we enjoy having him around, so whatever we can do to help him, we will.”
Silverwood said that as things stand, he is “chilled out” about Archer’s injury situation, and that he does not expect him to require surgery on his elbow. He will be given an injection when he returns to the UK, and visit a specialist to diagnose the specifics of the problem.
“Obviously it’s disappointing for Jofra and it’s disappointing for us, but it’s clearly something that we need to get to the bottom of,” Silverwood said. “We’ll make sure that he’s got every resource around him that we can and get to the bottom of what’s going on, and hopefully get him back fighting fit for the future for England.
“He’s going to miss the early stages of the IPL but we’ll be led by the medics on where we go from there, really. The important thing is that we get it cleared up. We’ll get him to see the specialist and make sure that we put everything in place for Jofra to have a long, successful international career for England in all formats.
“Obviously I want Jofra at the World Cup and the Ashes. From my point of view he’s a great performer, and I want him there, and yes, I have every confidence in my medics to make sure that they put the best treatment around him and give him the best chance.”
Silverwood was due to discuss England’s plans for the ODI series with Eoin Morgan on Sunday night, and was not drawn on the specifics of which players would be given the chance to impress in the absence of a handful of first-choice players.
He also defended the absence of Moeen Ali from England’s side for the duration of the T20I series, suggesting that the decision had been made solely because of the pitches that had been prepared in Ahmedabad, rather than any problem with Ali himself.
“We turned up expecting the wickets to potentially offer a bit more spin than they did, and they just didn’t,” Silverwood said. “The wickets that we played on were firm, so we picked the team that would benefit from playing on that wicket. It’s as simple as that.
“To be clear, it’s not [that he will never be picked] in Indian conditions, it was on those pitches in Ahmedabad that we didn’t pick him – we went down a different avenue on that. It’s not all conditions in India we’re talking about here: we looked at the pitches and we picked the attack that we believed would be successful or effective on those pitches in Ahmedabad.
“Mo is a very important member of our squad, and I’m sure he’s got a big role to play in the future. He’s training hard, he’s doing everything right – it was just down to a selection issue on those wickets. I really wouldn’t read anything more into it than that.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98