Jofra Archer is in a race against time to be fit for the first Test against the touring Indian side later in the summer. The 26-year-old, however, doesn’t want to rush back into action and is determined to take his time after a make or break surgery to his elbow on Friday.
The speedster went under the knife to fix a longstanding problem with his elbow, a persistent niggle that has kept him out of games during last winter’s tour of South Africa, the fourth Test in India and the forthcoming Test series against New Zealand. Amidst the elbow trouble, a surgery to remove pieces of glass from his hand also ruled him out of the now-postponed IPL 2021.
Archer returned to playing County cricket earlier this month but could muster only 18 overs for Sussex against Kent before his elbow flared up. He will now undergo a period of rehabilitation and assessed again in about four weeks time. ECB will take a call on his bowling fitness before taking a call on whether the speedster can take the field on August 4 in the first Test against India.
With a packed international schedule staring England this year, Archer has redirected his focus to the two biggest competitions – the T20 World Cup in October and the subsequent Ashes series in Australia at the end of the year. “Those are my targets. If I come back before then and manage to play in the home Test series against India — then fine, so be it. If I don’t, I am quite prepared to sit out the summer,” he wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
“One thing I am determined about post-elbow operation is not to rush my comeback because my primary focus is to be playing for England in the Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes later this year.
“The way I am looking at things is that I would rather miss a few weeks of a year so that I have a few more years in my career. I just want to get this injury sorted once and for all and that’s why I’m not looking that far ahead or at dates for a return to action. Because if I don’t get this right, I won’t play any cricket. Period.”
The England pacer said he felt a little sore post the surgical procedure but is undivided in his views of going through the compete rehabilitation procedure. He felt going under the knife might have warded off the danger for the moment but also did mention that it might not turn out to be a permanent fix.
“It (surgery) was the last thing on the list. It is not always a fix and in four weeks we will find out how things have gone. I must retain faith that this now sorts out the issue for good, although there’s always room for another surgery if needs be. At the age of 26, I am still pretty young.”
Archer signed off mentioning that he is determined to represent England in every format and win trophies but also pointed out that it has been sometime since he has bowled pain free.
“I remain committed to playing all three formats for England and to winning big series. But it has been quite a while since I bowled completely pain-free.”