The size and pace of the fast bowlers from the Caribbean has cricket watchers excited about a potential West Indies renaissance at the World Cup.
The fact one of them is playing for England makes it more intriguing.
Barbados-born Jofra Archer was a late inclusion in England's squad after qualifying on residency in March.
West Indies coach Floyd Reifer said Archer "made his choice." Now he's going to have to live with it.
The 24-year-old Archer is set to lead the England attack against the West Indies on Friday, a showdown that will be in the spotlight.
Archer was the toast of London after taking three wickets against South Africa in England's tournament-opening win, and has six wickets so far at the World Cup.
The West Indies have had plenty of choice in the pace department, with skipper Jason Holder working with Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas and Carlos Brathwaite to bounce out Pakistan for 105 and then cause defending champion Australia all kinds of trouble early before slipping to a 15-run loss.
Cottrell took two early wickets to have South Africa reeling at 29-2 on Monday before rain washed out the group game at Hampshire's Rose Bowl. The Windies will take a 1-1-1 record back to Hampshire on Friday to face England, which has two wins and a loss.
While Archer has been a revelation to occasional cricket fans in England, he has long been on the watch list for selectors because of his English-born father. He was well known in the Caribbean as a Barbados Under-19 representative before deciding to see if his British passport was a way to reach the international level.
"To be honest, we knew Jofra for a long time. He is from Barbados," said Reifer, who played cricket against a younger Archer in Barbados. "Yes, he's bowling quickly, but there's nothing that we are not accustomed to."
England have never won the Cricket World Cup, but is the No. 1-ranked team and was pre-tournament favorite to win on home soil.
The West Indies were the original kings of one-day cricket, winning the first two World Cups and reaching the final in 1983. They haven't been back to the final since.
Reifer noted that Archer had some injuries as a young, developing pace man learning the craft but always showed he had the talent to play international cricket.
"Definitely. He obviously had the pace. He had a few injuries as a young guy. But I'm guessing though he's fully over those injuries and he is bowling very well for England," Reifer said. "I'm sure Jofra will be chomping at the bit to come at us, and we will be ready for him.
"Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that. Like I said, we are looking forward to the game on Friday."
Devdutt Padikkal showed his class on his IPL debut in the ongoing match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The left-handed batsman played some stunning strokes and stunned the rivals by his attitude.
Devdutt Padikkal, already a known name in the Indian domestic circuit scored an impressive fifty for Virat Kohli-led franchise. He made full use of the power-play and slammed bug shots. Devdutt added 90 runs with his opening partner, Aaron Finch.
His 56 runs came off just 42 balls and his strike rate of 133.33 impressed everyone. Fans took to Twitter to congratulate the 20-year old.
Here are some of the reactions.
Prodigal Padikkal 😇🤗 A star is born. #IPL2020— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 21, 2020
Padikkal 👏 👏 👏 #RCBVsSRH— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 21, 2020
In 35 domestic matches, he has scored 1879 runs at an average of 52.19.
Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrahrevealed that the freedom he enjoys playing under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in Mumbai Indians set-up has been a massive confidence booster for him in his career.
Bumrah has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians' team, which has won record four IPL titles since Rohit Sharma took over as captain in 2013.
“For me, he (Rohit) has always given me the freedom, he has always told me to express yourself (myself), be whatever you want, be it any situation, take ownership of your own bowling, so that gives me a lot of confidence and a responsibility that I’m responsible for whatever I’m doing,” Bumrah said.
“So that’s a big thing for a captain because then he gives a bowler so much of confidence. He trusts you so much and he trusts the decisions that you will take and that’s a very positive sign,” he added.
Not just Bumrah, Rohit’s captaincy has also come in for praise from fellow players and management staff.
“He is always open to take suggestions on the ground. I have seen him a lot of times when there is a crunch situation, or when he is put under pressure, that time he is very calm, cool and composed. He takes tough decisions during that time,” batsman Suryakumar Yadav told MITV.
Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene termed Rohit as a “very instinctive leader”, while former India speedster Zaheer Khan, who is part of the team’s support staff, described the right-handed batsman as “a thinking cricketer.”
Ahead of their IPL 2020 opener against SRH on Monday, the Royal Challengers Bangalore players were seen wearing jerseys in training which had the message ‘My Covid heroes’ written on the backside of it.
The franchise later announced that they'll be wearing the same, throughout the season during training sessions to celebrate everyone who have worked towards “making the world a better place” throughout the ongoing pandemic.
The Royal Challengers wore the MY COVID HEROES jersey during practice yesterday, to pay tribute to all the REAL CHALLENGERS who have strived to make the world a better place during the pandemic! 🙌🏻🙌🏻— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 20, 2020
(1/2)#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #MyCovidHeroes #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/TLW7IiNSmq
In an interview before the match, RCB star player AB de Villiers was asked about the same, and he believes that it's a great initiative by the franchise to honour the frontline warriors.
My Covid Heroes: Over the past few days we’ve been bringing stories of Real Challengers who’ve inspired us. To pay homage to every Covid Hero out there, RCB has decided to sport ‘My Covid Heroes’ jersey throughout the Dream 11 IPL#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/y7Xbs69cQ1— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 21, 2020
On being asked about the teams prospects for the ongoing season, De Villiers said: “Have done some fantastic work behind the scenes and we are very well prepared and our net session and training session have been very intense. It’s about trusting each other and executing all the hard work we have put in.”
Days before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Ali Khan's dream of playing in the cash-lucrative league got fulfilled.
The American pace sensation was roped in by the Kolkata Knight Riders as the direct replacement of bowler Harry Gurney.
Ali's surprise selection came after impressing during the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, where he plied his trade for the Trinbago Knight Riders. He picked up eight wickets from eight matches with and an economy of 7.43.
Ali has won two of the last three CPL editions and he will be the first player to play in the IPL.
Acording to reports, Ali was also in KKR's radar, last year, after his solid performances in the 2018 Global T20 Canada with the Winnipeg Hawks. He was initially scouted by Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
Just before their semi-final game against the Jamaica Tallawahs, the TKR squad had gathered for a team dinner when Khan came to know about the start of his journey with the Kolkata franchise.
“As soon as everyone sat in their seats, [Knight Riders coach] Brendon McCullum welcomed everyone to dinner and then he said, ‘A man from the USA will be joining us in Kolkata Knight Riders. I want to take this opportunity to announce that…’,” said Khan as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Ali said that he started crying when Brendon made the announcement. He also revealed that the KKR coach gave him a big hug and said: "You deserve it".
Ahead of their opening fixture against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith has been declared fit to play, having passed his concussion tests.
Smith has missed three ODIs against England in the UK due to a concussion issue, and there were doubts whether he will be fit to feature in Royals’ season opener.
Andrew McDonald, RR's head coach, confirmed that Smith is available for selection against CSK.
“Fantastic news that Steve is available. It’s fantastic especially on the back of some setbacks back in the UK. It’s obviously great to have your skipper available for the first game as I’ve said before we are in really good hands. In terms of the rest of the squad, we couldn’t be happier with their preparation. We have got what we needed, having been here nice and early to get our preparation going on the back of the long lay-off,” McDonald said in a RR's virtual press release
“We have got the bases covered and have some really good depth in the squad and really looking forward to seeing what it looks like in a real competitive match against CSK. They had a fantastic first game, they’re one game into the tournament which is a slight advantage when you come out against the team that’s already played and performed. So, we’ll definitely have our work cut out and really looking forward to what our guys can bring to the table and we’re really excited about what the journey presents,” he added.
Smith, meanwhile, revealed that he is eager to get back to action, having missed the ODI series against England.
The 31-year-old, Smith, is one of the four main overseas players in the team alongside English trio of Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
Jofra is expected to be in the playing XI while both are Buttler and Stokes will play no part in the game. Buttler is serving a 6-day quarantine period with his family while Stokes has not yet arrived in UAE.
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