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England board agrees with Archer on skipping India Tests

London: England cricket board has concurred with pace bowler Jofra Archer on his decision to put T20 World Cup and Ashes series later this year ahead of August-September’s five-Test series against India in which the 26-year-old may not participate as he recovers from elbow surgery.

“I have talked a lot about our objectives in the T20 World Cup and the Ashes, and we need to make sure he is best prepared for that,” Ashley Giles, the director of cricket at England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

Giles said that Archer’s USP is his ability to bowl fast.

“The thing that has held him back is that he’s had two different injuries in that elbow, and it stops him doing what he does incredibly well, which is bowl quick. That must be frustrating for him,” added Giles.

Archer had on Thursday written in the Daily Mail that he was willing to miss this English summer’s long Test series against India so as to be fully fit for T20 World Cup and Ashes later this year.

“One thing I am determined about post-elbow operation is not to rush my comeback because my primary focus is to be playing for England in Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes later this year,” Archer had written in his column for Daily Mail.

“Those are my targets. If I come back before then and manage to play in the home Test series against India — then fine, so be it. If I don’t, I am quite prepared to sit out the summer,” Archer had added.

Giles, a former England cricketer himself, however is confident that Archer will return to his peak following surgery and recuperation.

“I am very confident with the medical team we have and the surgery he has had – which has gone very well – that he will be back and firing, and we’ll get him back as we’ve seen Jofra in the past,” added Giles.

The 48-year-old, a former left-arm spinner himself also said he has high hopes from recalled batsman Haseeb Hameed.

Hameed was included in the England Test squad along with Sam Billings after injury to Ben Foakes.

The right-handed batsman hasn’t played a single Test after three Tests on tour of India in 2016. However, his performance in County Championship – where he is averaging 52 — has helped him get an opportunity.

“As we have picked him in the squad, we have got to think he is ready,” said Giles. “I worked closely with Has at Lancashire.

“He seems to have found his love for the game again. He is a really exciting young player, I loved working with him and he’s clearly found a home at Notts (Nottinghamshire).”

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