Jofra Archer returns to action for the first time since March with his performance for Sussex’s second XI

0

Jofra Archer returns to action for the first time since March, performing for Sussex’s second XI against Surrey as the English star gears up for tougher challenges ahead.

  • Jofrah Archer made his return to the action when he performed in Sussex’s second XI
  • Archer made his first appearance since March after recovering from injury
  • The English star was rusty, but his hand or elbow was no problem for him

It was a sight to behold to warm the hearts of fans of England everywhere. Just a pity that the man himself could not escape the cold.

Wednesday afternoon in Hove, Jofra Archer emerged from the Sussex locker room wearing a pompom hat and a pair of sweaters and walked to the end of his goal.

Delayed but eventually fired, the sailor took the first step towards a vital few months – for himself and for England’s cricket.

Jofra Archer returned to the action when he appeared in Sussex’s second XI against Surrey

Far bigger challenges await than this runout for Sussex 2nd XI against Surrey. And much more will be needed from Archer if England is to be victorious in the T20 World Cup or an Ashes series Down Under. But after cutting off his right hand on a broken aquarium, at least Archer is back in the goldfish bowl.

An operation to remove glass shards and another injection for his persistent elbow problem would never prove to be an ideal preparation. No wonder he ended up wicketless.

If all goes well, Archer would have spent the last few weeks in the red-hot atmosphere of the Indian Super League. Instead, he returned among brazen monkeys in Hove.

English star Archer is preparing for bigger challenges, such as the T20 World Cup

English star Archer is preparing for bigger challenges, such as the T20 World Cup

English bowling coach Jon Lewis was here with him; Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart was one of the few interested spectators. Furthermore, it was empty seats and several cameras with long lenses for the company.

This is Archer’s first action since March – other than a cameo with the bat on Tuesday – and he kicked off with a short lunch break on either side of the lunch before the rain came.

There was almost the perfect return when Archer’s first delivery was chipped mid-day.

Archer's bowling was missing some of the usual zip, but his hand or elbow didn't cause any problems

Archer’s bowling was missing some of the usual zip, but his hand or elbow didn’t cause any problems

But it fell behind the fielder and that was the closest Archer came during his 11 overs until he found Ryan Patel’s perimeter, just for the chance of getting shot in the briefs.

It was perhaps predictable that his bowling was missing some of his usual zip and that rust was sure to stay – more than once he was punished for driving too straight or too wide.

The good news? Neither his hand nor his awkward elbow seemed to cause any problems. A few deliveries climbed the perimeter, and Archer’s second across saw the first bouncer lean back.

He wore no visible strapping, and Archer was confident enough in his fingers to take a place in the briefs – even after practicing catching a white glove.

From the cordon, he saw a few wickets tumble on the other side, knowing his time was coming – starting, he hopes, against New Zealand at Lord’s next month.

Advertisement

.