Jofra Archer is of the opinion that while the public tends to rightly give the benefit of doubt to all-time-greats Anderson and Broad, people do not show the same trust and faith in the other bowlers. Archer further stated that, far too often, people who do not know him make rash judgements.
After a stunning show at Lord’s on debut, England’s golden boy Jofra Archer was earmarked for great things in the longest format, but, unfortunately, ever since, things haven’t panned the way everyone expected it to. Post Ashes 2019, the Sussex speedster has taken just 20 wickets in 9 Test matches at 42.90 apiece and has, as a result, found himself at the centre of criticism from fans, pundits and former cricketers. In fact, throughout the course of his 13-Test career, Archer has been at the receiving end of incessant criticism about his bowling, with many, in particular, attacking the 25-year-old for ‘not putting in enough effort’.
By now, the speedster has learnt to shut down and ignore the outside noise, but in his column for the Daily Mail, the 25-year-old pointed out how the public’s perception can be biased. Archer wrote that while people tend to give the benefit of the doubt - and rightfully so - to the likes of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad when they endure a bad game, they tend to not show the same trust and belief in certain other bowlers, such as himself.
“The beauty of where those two are in their careers, with so many wickets to their names, is that they get the benefit of the doubt if they have a quiet match of only one or two wickets. People will argue, quite rightly, that they have got to where they are for a reason and will come back strongly, whereas I don't feel there is the same understanding given or faith placed in others,” Archer wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“Everyone must start somewhere, and I am still relatively new to Test cricket. I am making my way, much the same as the two great bowlers in this England set-up, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, once did. And I am happy with a bowling average of 31 so far because I can get better."
“Part of being a bowler is accepting there will be games when you don't enjoy as much success as you would like but you must tick them off, and when the conditions are right for you to take your big haul, use them.”
However, more than his bowling, though, people have tended to direct criticism towards Archer’s attitude. His effortless ease has often been wrongly attributed to lack of effort and multiple experts have questioned if the 25-year-old has the desire to play the longest format. One such expert is Michael Vaughan, and Archer hit out at the former England skipper, who he feels makes bland statements without knowing the person.
“I always dreamed of playing Test cricket and don't feel I've had a bad game so far — yet unless I am taking four or five wickets in an innings, I am placed under scrutiny and some people start trying to decipher what's going on.
“Comments like 'he's not committed' or 'he's not good enough' appear as soon as you are not 110 per cent. I find it quite annoying how people read into stuff and form their own opinions.
“I saw one article from Michael Vaughan in which he said: 'If Jofra doesn't love Test cricket, England need to find out why.' We've never had a conversation about cricket, so I found it a bit odd. He doesn't know what makes me tick. He doesn't know what's driving me.”
Archer missed the second and the fourth Tests of the India series owing to a recurring elbow injury, but the speedster confirmed that he is fit and raring to go for the T20Is, starting March 12th.
“I've come through all the training sessions this week and I feel fit and ready to go for the opening match of the Twenty20 series on Friday.”