Jofra Archer is putting England first by agreeing to miss at least the start of the Indian Premier League campaign in order to remedy his persistent elbow issue, says head coach Chris Silverwood.
England announced on Sunday that bowler Archer would sit out the three ODIs against India and the opening stages of Rajasthan Royals’ IPL season, having been “deemed unfit for selection” with his elbow issue making it “increasingly challenging for him to maintain performance levels”.
Speaking later that afternoon, Silverwood confirmed the decision for Archer to fly home to the UK for assessment and treatment was mutual with the paceman and England wanting to fix the injury ahead of the T20 World Cup in India and Ashes series in Australia at the backend of the year.
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Silverwood said: “It was a joint decision to put England first. He needs to get this right, he needs time to do that, so we have made space to make sure we give him the best chance to be successful for England.
“All parties agreed and Jofra was very keen on that as well. He wants to be at the World Cup and the Ashes so it wasn’t a difficult decision for either side. It was a sensible decision. It shows how passionate Jofra is about playing for England and how much he enjoys it.
“[The elbow] is obviously disappointing for Jofra and for us but it is clearly something we need to get to the bottom of and get cleared up.”
Pressed on the severity of Archer’s injury – which also led to the seamer missing two Tests against India – and whether he fears it could lessen his impact at the T20 World Cup and the Ashes, Silverwood added: “I don’t want to speculate too much until we find out exactly what is going on but at this moment in time I am pretty chilled out.
“I want Jofra at the World Cup and the Ashes as he is a great performer and I have great confidence in my medics to get the best treatment around him to give him the best chance.
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March 23, 2021, 7:30am
“They have talked about giving him an injection as a first port of call. I am not thinking about surgery at the moment but we will be guided by the medics and see what they come up with.
“We will make sure he has every resource around him and hopefully get him back fighting fit so he can have a long and successful international career for England in all formats.”
England lost the four-Test series to India 3-1 and were then beaten 3-2 in the five-game T20 international series after going down by 36 runs in Saturday’s decider at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
ENGLAND NAME SQUAD FOR INDIA ODI SERIES 🇮🇳🏴
🔘 Morgan (captain), Moeen, Bairstow, Billings, Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Livingstone, Parkinson, Rashid, Roy, Stokes, Topley, Wood
🔘 COVER: Ball, Jordan, Malan
Watch 1st #INDvENG ODI from 7.30am, Tuesday, SS Cricket 📺📱💻
Silverwood says the three-match ODI series in Pune, which starts on Tuesday before further games on Friday and next Sunday, does not represent a “consolation prize”.
The 46-year-old says that with Archer absent and Joe Root and Chris Woakes rested there will be opportunities for fringe players.
Silverwood also hopes a change of scenery will “freshen up” the squad, with many of the tourists’ players having been in Ahmedabad since before the second Test on February 25.
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The former Essex head coach said: “To me it’s not a consolation prize. We want to win everything and we are defending 50-over world champions so we want to go out there and put in a good showing.
“The 50-over World Cup is here in 2023 as well so it is a great opportunity for us to see conditions and for players to get experience.
“This series will create opportunities for people to potentially bat in different places and to potentially see one or two fresh faces. I see it as an opportunity, which is exciting for me.
“It is great to have a change of scenery as we were in one place for a long time. If you can imagine your life existing between two floors of a hotel and a cricket ground it is great to move on to Pune. It freshens up your mind.”
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Silverwood also added that the only reason all-rounder Moeen Ali did not play in the five-match T20 series was due to the pitches in Ahmedabad not spinning as the tourists anticipated.
“We turned up expecting the wickets to offer a bit more spin but they just didn’t. The wickets were firm so we picked the team that would benefit playing on that wicket. It’s as simple as that,” said Silverwood.
“Mo is a very important member of our squad and I am sure he has a big role to play in the future. He is training hard, doing everything right – it was just down to those wickets [why he didn’t play].
“To be very clear, it’s not Moeen in all conditions in India we are talking about, it was just those pitches in Ahmedabad. I wouldn’t read anything more into it than that.”
England ODI squad for India series: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood. COVER Jake Ball, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan
Watch England’s first ODI against India, in Pune, live from 7.30am on Tuesday on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event. You will also be able to follow text commentary and in-play clips through our live blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
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