England fast bowler Jofra Archer has seen his fair share of ups and downs in the last couple of years. He has had elbow troubles for which he has required surgery and when that seemed to be healing, he suffered a stress fracture on his back that has kept him out of action for a long time.
Archer made a successful return to the England side earlier this year, playing white-ball cricket against South Africa in January, the SA20 and more recently he also took on Bangladesh. His workload has been managed well. The medical team has warned against Archer playing two ODIs in two days and it looks like England will take a similar route for the T20Is as well.
As a result, Archer has played a couple of ODIs and one T20I on the tour so far, but the bigger question remains over his availability and fitness in red-ball cricket. Archer has not played first-class cricket since May 2021 and it is believed that he could be thrown into the deep end by playing in the Ashes directly.
However, following the Bangladesh series, Archer will travel to India for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, where he will turn up for Mumbai Indians (MI). With MI short on fast bowlers with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Jhye Richardson out due to injuries, Archer could play a pivotal role in MI's success this season.
"If I can play one game this summer, I'll be happy," he said.
"If I play more than one, that's just a bonus. Coming back and playing cricket for England again means I have already done what I wanted to do. I said 18 months ago I was going to be back. Now I'm back, hopefully I have a long career, so it makes no sense doing too much, too soon.
"We have got so much cricket to play, genuinely playing for England you never stop – you're going 11 months a year, pretty much. There is a lot of cricket and I want to play a lot of cricket as well."
Archer is expected to have a bowl with the red ball during his stint with MI. While the conditions is not the major concern now, the question remains if Archer can bowl a substantial amount of overs to get him match ready. Archer admits he has to shake off a bit of rust to be ready.
"If you're playing competitive cricket all the time, it doesn't matter," Archer said. "I've played in the Ashes already, so you know most of the things that come with it.
"The pressures, the media, the situations are not going to be anything unknown. The only thing unknown at the moment now would be fitness and if you can actually get through a whole Test match.
"I don't have much expectation except to finish the game. That is the biggest part, to get through 20 [overs] in an innings, maybe 40 or 50 in a game. Obviously I want wickets, but getting overs in is more important."
Archer also revealed that he is not going to look to clock 95 MPH on unresponsive pitches in Bangladesh as there is no point of putting in so much effort. "To be honest, in Bangladesh I'm not going to be charging in trying to bowl 95mph," he smiled.
England are 1-0 down in the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh. However, they have a chance to draw level in the second game which will be played on Sunday (March 12) in Dhaka.