Sky Cricket expert and former England captain says uncapped Ollie Robinson and James Bracey fully deserve their places in the Test squad to face New Zealand; watch the two-match series live on Sky Sports Cricket from Wednesday, June 2
Nasser Hussain says England need to get ‘rare talent’ Jofra Archer fit and firing ahead of a bumper winter of red and white-ball cricket
Jofra Archer’s latest injury setback is “hugely worrying” for England as they plot to win the T20 World Cup and regain the Ashes this winter, says Nasser Hussain.
Archer’s long-standing right elbow injury flared up during his comeback game for Sussex against Kent in the LV= Insurance County Championship last week and he will now miss the two-Test series against New Zealand, which starts at Lord’s on June 2, live on Sky Sports Cricket.
The 26-year-old will see a medical consultant later this week to determine the severity of the injury and the next course of action, with Hussain saying England need to get the paceman fit.
- Jofra Archer out of New Zealand Test series through injury
We need to get this resolved once and for all to give him the best chance of being fully fit as we build up to an intense winter, which will include a T20 World Cup and the Ashes. We need him firing in all formats of the game.
England head coach Chris Silverwood on Jofra Archer’s injury
Speaking on the day England announced a 15-man squad to face New Zealand – including the uncapped Ollie Robinson and James Bracey – Hussain said of Archer’s injury: “It’s hugely worrying for any cricketer.
“You don’t want a recurring nature of an injury, especially a bowler and especially this lad. He is such a rare talent, an absolute gem.”
Archer took two wickets in Kent’s first innings last week – including England team-mate Zak Crawley to a superb rising delivery – as he played his first first-team game since England’s fifth and final T20 in India on March 20.
England bowler Stuart Broad says Archer is frustrated by the persistent elbow injury that has ruled him out of the Test series against New Zealand
The fast bowler then claimed another wicket in Kent’s second knock before his elbow issue prevented him from bowling on the final two days at Hove.
Hussain said: “Even in the cricket we did see at Sussex last week, the ball he got Crawley out with was phenomenal.
“England will be desperate to look after him and get him right for that T20 World Cup and then, obviously, The Ashes. He can do things other bowlers can’t – as long as he is fit. He needs to be fit.”
Archer’s fellow Sussex seamer Robinson could step in for his county colleague against New Zealand, having earned a place in the squad following a number of impressive seasons at county level, including 29 wickets at an average of 14.72 in the 2021 County Championship so far.
England squad for New Zealand Test series
Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
Hussain said of Robinson: “He has been getting his wickets at 16 apiece for Sussex over the last four years and reminds me very much of an Angus Fraser-type bowler.
“He is not quick, just over 80 miles an hour, but he has metronomic accuracy, hits the top of off stump and finds people edging it to the slip cordon or getting out lbw.
“He is highly skilled and has recently been talking about when it doesn’t seam, that he has been working on swinging it and reverse swinging it. He has earned the right to make his debut.”
On Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batsman Bracey, who has scored 478 runs at an average of 53.11 so far this season at No 3 for his county, Hussain added: “He has played beautifully and absolutely deserves this chance.
Sky Cricket expert Nasser Hussain says Gloucestershire’s James Bracey is a skilful batsman who deserves his chance at Test level with England
“He was the best batsman we saw when we did the live game on Sky Sports between Gloucestershire and Middlesex.
“It is a real tick for the previous national selector Ed Smith, who earmarked Bracey quite a long time ago and said from nowhere, ‘watch this lad from Gloucestershire. He can play’.
“What we noticed was his tempo at the crease. On quite a difficult pitch to bat on, he made it look quite easy.
“He is a very organised player and a very good player and having been in and around the England squad in the bio-secure bubbles he knows the players well.”
England squad for New Zealand Test series: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
Watch the first Test between New Zealand and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Wednesday, June 2.