Eoin Morgan will lead the England team as they face the Proteas in a three match T20I seies, commencing from today. Morgan is still unclear on what his best lineup should be in the first match. One particular issue which is a huge challenge for the England captain is managing Jofra Archer’s workload in the coming months.
Jofra Archer is undoubtedly one of the best bowlers around at the moment, alongside the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada. Archer has been involved in just four T20 internationals, so far for England. With the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India next October, it will be interesting to see how the ECB and Eoin Morgan go about managing Archer’s workload.
“He’s (Archer) one of the best in the world, so he’s incredible to have around. But I don’t think we’ll have him that often, between now and the World Cup,” said Morgan.
The challenge of him trying to commit to all the Tests and all of the T20s, I think that’s too much. So we’re just trying to get him into a headspace where he’s enjoying his cricket while he’s with us, and trying to make the most of the opportunity while he’s with us,” the England captain added.
Jofra Archer was one of the Englishmen who played a key role in the IPL, that concluded earlier this November. The pacer was in his prime form, notching up 20 wickets at an economy of jut 6.55. Archer picked up key wickets for Rajasthan Royals in the opening overs of the match, and was one of the best bowlers in the recently concluded IPL.
Archer played a part in all of the 14 league stage matches for the Rajasthan Royals outfit. His stellar performances with the bowl and a few cameos from the lower order were not enough to propel the Royals to the play-off stage. The Steve Smith led side finished the tournament at the bottom, on the eighth place.
Eoin Morgan admitted that he is still unclear in regards to his best 11 for the match against South Africa. Jason Roy and Ben Stokes were unavailable for the T20 series against Pakistan and Australia earlier in August-September because of an injury and personal reasons respectively.
But, with both Roy and Stokes back in the mix for the South African tour, it will be selection dilemma for Morgan. Dawid Malan who had been in amazing form in the two T20 series against Pakistan and Australia might have to sit out. It is likely that England open with Jason Roy and Jos Butler, with Bairstow dropping at the number 3 position.
In the bowling department too, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding to what combination Morgan goes in with on Friday. With the likes of Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Sam Curran and Mark Wood at his disposal, he certainly has a lot of firepower to choose from.
Last time, England toured South Africa for a T20 series was in February of this year itself. England won the series 2-1 in the final over of the third t20i with Eoin Morgan clinching the Man of the Series Award for his powerful knocks from the middle order.