Jofra Archer set for return in series-opener against Pakistan, confirms Buttler

 - Sakshi Post

Leeds, May 22 (IANS) England white-ball captain Jos Buttler has confirmed that speedster Jofra Archer will play in the first T20I against Pakistan on Wednesday. The pacer is making a comeback after more than a year-long injury lay-off. Archer's back and elbow injuries made him miss cricket action for more than 12 months. The pacer was also struggling with the same injuries, which restricted him to playing seven matches in the last three years for England.

The 29-year-old pacer is raring to play for Three Lions after being picked in England's 15-member provisional squad for next month's T20 World Cup.

"He's got a big smile on his face. It's great to see him back, fit and bowling fast, and just being back around the group. I know how much he's missed that. [Facing him] is never that fun, but he's looking great," ESPNcricinfo quoted Buttler as saying. "You have to temper expectations. He's been out of international cricket for a long time, and you can never quite replicate that. We all know what a superstar he has been but manage those expectations: don't expect too much too soon. He's got such a high level of skill that he's always going to perform well, but [he needs to] just enjoy being back playing cricket. As England captain and as a fan, people want to see him back enjoying his cricket," he added.

Confirming his participation in the series opener, Buttler said the pacer's workload will be managed in the four-match series. "He's fully fit, and the medical team will advise how best to manage that. [He'll play] as many as possible: he's missed a lot of cricket and he's desperate to get back out there and be a big part of the team," the wicketkeeper said.

"Any player of Jofra's calibre is a huge asset to any team. Absolutely, he makes us a better side and [gives us] a better chance of winning games. But we have to temper expectations, not put too much pressure on him, and ease him back in. The great success would be him coming through this series with a big smile on his face and his body holding up. That would be a success to me," Buttler added.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said his team is 'excited' to play Archer in the series. "As a team, we are very excited to play Archer. We have that pace of bowlers: Haris Rauf, [Mohammad] Amir, Shaheen [Afridi]. We are facing it every day. We are not [feeling] fear; we are excited," he said.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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