Star England pacer Jofra Archer, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for a whopping Rs 8 crore despite his unavailability for this year’s IPL, said the team’s “close-knit, family-oriented” structure makes him feel “safe” as a new entrant. The 26-year-old, who has undergone two surgeries to treat his troubled right elbow, will sit out of the IPL this year as he continues his recovery from injury. But he’s already excited by the prospect of joining the franchise in future.
“MI looks very close-knit and family-oriented and such teams always do well. That’s why it is no surprise that we have won five titles,” Archer told the team’s official social media handles.
“Polly’s (Kieron Pollard) been there 10 years, (Lasith) Malinga was there a long time, the same with Rohit (Sharma) too. These things make you feel safe when you come into the team as a new player,” Jofra said.
The perception of fast bowlers has always been that they are an angry bunch, who need to stoke that fire to generate fearsome pace.
However, the Englishman, who has played 42 games across formats besides winning his team a World Cup, said it’s about staying calm.
“I think you need to be calm as a fast bowler because you have to know when to step it up and when to tone it down,” he said.
“Being calm allows me to just make better decisions. Bowling also doesn’t really change much according to conditions, you just have to know when and where to use your variations,” he added.
Having made his Test debut in the 2019 Ashes, where he picked up two fifers, Archer had bowled an unplayable bouncer to Steve Smith. Smith went on to miss the third Test with a concussion.
“I mean, I won’t call it one of my best deliveries because he still came back and batted in the rest of that series.
“For me, the best ball always has to be a wicket-taking delivery, the batter has to be sent back,” he said, picking the one that got Travis Head’s wicket in the fourth Test as his best delivery.
“I think the best delivery I have ever bowled came in that series, when I knocked back Travis Head’s middle stump in the fourth Test.
“The previous ball he had just driven me down the ground and I was angry. The next ball I remember getting one back into him and I had a smug look on my face after,” Archer added.
MI will be the second team Archer will play for in the IPL after Rajasthan Royals, where he was part of the team for three seasons. He was released by the Royals after he missed the 2021 season due to his recurring elbow injury.
The speedster feels the change will be a great opportunity to see where he stands.
“The change of environment is good because you then get to challenge yourself. It is all right to perform in your comfort zone but when you actually go away and start performing in a different team, in a different setting, only then can you probably start rating yourself,” he said.
“It is like when Cristiano Ronaldo first left England, people said he may not be good outside but then he has performed and done it wherever he has gone. No one can ever question his skill now, it is pretty much the same concept.” Mumbai Indians open their IPL campaign this year against Delhi Capitals on March 27.
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