Jofra Archer could be a star with white and red ball for England - Gower

Friday, December 14th, 2018 4:00pm

By Will Beckman @Will_Beckman

David Gower has backed Jofra Archer to make the transition into Test cricket when he becomes eligible for England next year.

The ECB recently announced plans to cut national qualification by residency from seven to three years, bringing the Barbados-born paceman into contention for a surprise World Cup spot in 2019.

However Gower, who captained England during the 1980s, told Love Sport Radio the 23-year-old has the right attitude to adjust from IPL and T20 competition to longer-form cricket.

“One-day cricket is his speciality, but we’ve seen people from both batting and bowling discipline move from being one-day specialists to Test Match specialists,” Gower told Ian Stone’s Comedy Breakfast (weekdays 6.30am-10.30am).

“If you’re a good learner, which he seems to be, then the possibilities are almost endless.

“From what I’ve seen and read he’s a spectacular cricketer, but the great danger would be for us to put too much expectation on his shoulders and expect him to become Gary Sobers in two seconds.

“He’s a very, very talented cricketer, though. He’s skilful and he’s good at adapting to modern requirements.

“His future appears to be very bright.”

England’s series whitewash in Sri Lanka was their first overseas since 1963 and has increased expectations ahead of next summer’s home World Cup.

Gower was encouraged by the performances of their less experienced tourists and assured there was room for the team to improve further yet.

“People will say the Sri Lankan team England played was one of the weakest we’ve seen for years, but they’re always tough to beat on their home turf,” he explained.

“What was really good from my point of view is getting new people in and seeing them do really well.

“Ben Foakes came through spectacularly, Rory Burns didn’t do badly and Keaton Jennings got himself back on track a bit by scoring that 100.

“But there are still things at the top of the order that need to be sorted out. You can always make things better.”

Gower also reserved praise for Jonny Bairstow following his century in the final test, but said he was unlikely to resume his favoured position in England’s batting order anytime soon.

“Jonny is a characterful cricketer and he’s a determined little sod too,” he concluded.

“I’m sure he’d prefer to be at no. 5 in the batting order but that door is closed for him at the moment. Someone else is sitting in his seat.”

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