England plan six-game Jofra Archer ‘audition’ in their World Cup warm-ups

Jofra Archer will be given a six-game World Cup audition before England decide whether to add him to their final squad.

After an embarrassing defeat to the West Indies to end their series 2-2, head coach Trevor Bayliss revealed his and captain Eoin ­Morgan’s plan to make sure the best 15 men go to the tournament, which begins on May 24. And once the Barbados-born all-rounder qualifies for England at the end of this month, Archer is very much a part of that.

The ICC requires each team to name their squad by April 23, mainly for marketing and logistical purposes, but they can make as many changes as they like for any reason up to May 22.

That means Archer can make his debut against Ireland on May 3 and play five times against Pakistan over the following fortnight to prove his worth as a 50-over match-winner able to ­operate above 90mph hour with the ball and add lower-order runs.

“Jofra Archer’s name keeps cropping up and I think at some stage we will give him an opportunity,” said Bayliss. “We have to name the squad in April but we’ve another month or so when we can change it.

“It would be a bit silly to name him in a squad, play him and take him out. It would upset things a bit too much. But now we’ve the opportunity to have a look at someone like that, why not take it? Probably the way we would go is in those matches against Pakistan and ­Ireland, I think he will get an opportunity to show us what he can do.

“He’s a bowler who looks like he could bowl in all three phases of the game. He can take the new ball, he can bowl through the middle and he can bowl at the end which is a good skill set to have. The guys in the team, they’ve got hold of those positions and in a way it’s theirs to lose. If they keep performing and doing well it’s difficult to bring people in.”

The problem for those in the squad such as Tom Curran and Liam Plunkett is they have just been carted around the ­Caribbean by Chris Gayle, showing their fragility, while David Willey has not even played.

A further issue to ­consider though is how unsettling a new face at the eleventh hour would be for a group that has become so tight-knit and successful over the past four years.

“It’s something we have to think about and that will be one of the decisions we have to make,” added Bayliss. “Firstly, is he good enough to be in the team and secondly, will it upset the apple cart to a degree that affects the way we play?”

* ENGLAND have been given the ‘macabre’ shock they needed to make sure they avoid embarrassment at the World Cup this summer.

After losing with 227 balls left to spare, coach Bayliss admitted the defeat was the worst he had experienced in his time in charge and left the squad embarrassed in the changing room. But the 56-year-old, who leaves his post in September, reckons the one good thing to come from the hammering is the removal of all complacency from the side heading into the tournament on home soil.

“It was the worst defeat yet,” said Bayliss. “Just in the style.

“For Chris Gayle to come out, throw the bat, whack a few and for us to lose in such a fashion. The players were embarrassed. And in a macabre sort of way it might be exactly what we needed. Like a wake-up call. Just because we’re one of the favourites it doesn’t mean we can go through the motions almost and win.”

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