Jofra Archer named in England T20 World Cup squad but Chris Woakes misses out

Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer is poised to return in England T20 red to play at the World Cup in June - Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images

England have confirmed the inclusion of Jofra Archer in their squad for June’s T20 World Cup, but there is no place for Chris Woakes, who misses out to Chris Jordan.

Archer has not played competitive cricket for almost a year, having suffered a recurrence of the right elbow injuries that, along with a stress fracture of the back, have troubled him since his breakthrough summer in 2019.

But careful management by England and hard work from Archer mean he is ready or a white-ball return this summer, first in four matches at home to Pakistan, then in the T20 World Cup defence, which takes in the Caribbean and USA in June. He looks likely to play for Sussex second team in May.

As reported by Telegraph Sport on Monday, Archer joins Mark Wood as England’s out and out pace options, with Reece Topley and Sam Curran providing a left-arm angle, and Jordan pipping Woakes to the final seam-bowling spot.

Jordan has not played for England since last September and does not have a national contract but is an experienced bowler who provides a lower-order six-hitting option. Like Woakes, Gus Atkinson is unfortunate to miss out, while his Surrey team-mate Jamie Overton was not considered as he awaits the results of scans on his back.

Adil Rashid and Tom Hartley, who is uncapped in T20 internationals, are the frontline spin-bowling options, supplemented by a bevy of all-rounders, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali.

Test captain Ben Stokes pulled out of the squad to prioritise his return to all-round status in the longest format, but England have still been able to name a squad full of powerful hitters who are in form at the Indian Premier League.

Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan will be given the chance to help England defend the T20 World Cup he and his team-mates won in Melbourne two years ago - WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

Captain Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Will Jacks and Jonny Bairstow will make up the top four, followed by Harry Brook, who pulled out of the IPL after his grandmother died, at No 5. Jacks and Bairstow scored 41- and 45-ball hundreds this weekend, while Buttler has two centuries for table-topping Rajasthan Royals this season and Salt has been in blistering form at the top of the order for Kolkata Knight Riders.

The need for a left-hander to replace Stokes makes Ben Duckett the reserve batsman in the squad. Curran and Moeen could be promoted up the order to attack spin if a left-hander is required.

The squad named on Tuesday remains provisional, and can be changed any time before May 25, the date of the second of the four T20s against Pakistan.

England have confirmed that all those currently in India will return in time to face Pakistan, meaning they will not be involved in the IPL knockouts. It is possible that Buttler misses some of that series, because his wife is expecting their third child. This could see England add cover to the squad to face Pakistan if required.

Four members of the provisional squad – Salt, Jacks, Hartley and Jordan – are not on England’s list of 26 centrally contracted players, while the likes of Dawid Malan, Woakes and Atkinson miss out. All three were members of England’s squad for the doomed 50-over World Cup defence in the autumn, a tournament which means that head coach Matthew Mott goes into this campaign under pressure despite still being T20 World Cup champions.

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