The 25-year-old, originally from Barbados, seems to be a man of few words – perhaps a throwback to an older generation of West Indian pacers who didn’t speak very much but intimidated their opponents with the ball in hand.
“I am feeling good to go. I feel up to speed with my bowling. I was training in my time off and doing all the things I normally do,” said Archer, who was rested for the Sri Lanka series, after England’s first practice session on Tuesday.
Archer has played some white-ball cricket in India thanks to the IPL, but he is on his first tour of India with the England team with no red-ball experience in these conditions. Archer, who has played 11 Tests so far, acknowledged that red-ball cricket in Indian conditions is a different thing altogether.
“I have played only with the white ball (in India). Bowling with the red ball is a completely different dynamic. So I can’t really compare the two,” the right-arm pacer said.
If the Chepauk pitch plays as it normally does, there could be a lot of hard work ahead for the England pacers. Archer is perhaps best used in short bursts so that he can sustain high speeds through the day. The England fast bowler, however, won’t be fussed even if he is asked to bowl long spells in humid conditions.
“It depends on the combination of the team. If there are three seamers, we don’t need to be bowling long spells. Either way, it doesn’t matter to me whether I am going to be bowling short or long spells,” he informed.
While Archer has had some rest heading into the India series, the schedule till the end of the year is taxing. For Archer, there is the IPL to look forward to right after the India series followed by the English summer, while the year ends with the T20 World Cup in India and the Ashes in Australia. Given that they are having to spend quite a lot of time inside bio-bubbles, Archer stressed the need to manage his body carefully.
“It is going to be a very long year. Body management is going to be essential if I want to play most of the matches. Anyone who criticises rotation doesn’t understand the situation,” he continued, “At the end of the day, human beings are social people. If you have had a bad day, there is no escape when you are in a bubble. The ECB is doing the right thing by resting players and ensuring that players are refreshed. If it does get over-bearing, there is no shame in admitting that and trying to get rest.”