Jofra Archer joins England squad for West Indies Test decider

AFP
England paceman Jofra Archer will return to the side for the third Test against West Indies. Photo: AFP

England on Thursday recalled its paceman Jofra Archer to the squad for its third and final Test against West Indies after being subjected to racist abuse which left the 25-year-old mentally shaken for the series decider.

"I need to be 100 percent mentally right so that I can throw myself into my cricket this week," fast bowler Archer wrote in his Daily Mail column published Wednesday.

"If I play and don't bowl 90 miles an hour it's going to be news," he added.

Barbados-born quick Archer, however, was back in England's 14-man squad for Friday's Test at Old Trafford, with the three-match series all square at 1-1.

Following the publication of his Mail column, it is understood Archer, 25, told the England management he was fit to play.

He underwent five days of self-isolation in his Old Trafford hotel room after breaking the bio-secure regulations governing the series following an unauthorised trip home, but later emerged to bowl in the nets.

"He is fit, firing and ready to go," said England national selector Ed Smith on Thursday after unveiling the squad.

In eight Tests since his debut last year, Archer has taken 33 wickets at an average of 28.12, with his tally already including three five-wicket hauls.

England have included all six of their frontline pacemen in the squad for a match that will decide the destiny of the Wisden Trophy, currently held by the West Indies.

Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran -- who helped bowl England to a 113-run win in the second Test, also at Old Trafford, have been retained.

Meanwhile Archer returns alongside James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, and Mark Wood, who were both rested following the West Indies' four-wicket win in the first Test at Southampton.

A West Indies success in the campaign which marks international cricket's return from the coronavirus lockdown would be their first Test series win in England for 32 years.

England third Test squad:

Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wkt), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

England vs West Indies: Jofra Archer joins hosts for Test series decider