Manchester: England batsman Ollie Pope has issued a warning to the West Indies team concerning fast-bowler Jofra Archer ahead of the third and final Test beginning Friday at the Old Trafford.
Archer was axed from the team for the second Test after he broke the bio-secure bubble in Southampton. Following two negative COVID-19 tests, Archer rejoined the squad and remains in contention for a place in the playing XI, after head coach Chris Silverwood said they would be playing their most potent attack.
Pope stated the players are happy with the return of Archer and also gave an insight as to how he has been during net sessions.
“Jofra Archer has been bowling seriously well in the nets, with pace and accuracy, and it’s great to have him back with the squad”Pope wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
“As someone who has played a similar number of Tests to Jofra, I can relate to how difficult it can be to adapt to the added scrutiny that comes with being an international cricketer.”
Pope was pointing towards Archer’s admission recently where he had said he was being judged like a criminal in the aftermath of the mistake he committed. He had also revealed receiving the racist message on social media while being under self-isolation in Manchester.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain had earlier raised concerns regarding Archer’s frame of mind ahead of the third Test.
“It can’t be healthy, and I’m sure the ECB understand they have a duty of care towards him now,” Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“Someone has to put an arm around his shoulder, and make sure he’s OK, and it was good to hear that Joe Root and Ben Stokes have done just that.
“As things stand, I don’t see how he can play in Friday’s third Test when England will need him to be on top of his game”he added.