posted on 2019-07-13 12:34:39
posted by Tarkesh Jha
Jofra Archer comes across as an extremely pleasant guy, not someone who would intimidate you at first sight. Typical to the demeanour of a general Caribbean native, he isn’t someone to put you down by muttering expletives and serious stares amidst the action. He delivers the ball, completes that ever-so-perfect followthrough and walks back to the bowling mark without much fuss. The captain might say a couple of words to him, a fellow bowler might come up with a piece of advice, all Jofra does is a nod and take the ball back from them. For all we know, he probably doesn’t even listen to them at that point in time. All that matters to him is how he is going to land the next delivery on the pitch, and the sheer talent that he possesses ensures that it’s going to be a scrumptious one buzzing the ear of the batsman as the leather glissades towards the keeper.
It isn’t as much about the delivery as it is about how Jofra approaches to deliver it. Every great bowler has a unique style regarding how they go about their action. Shoaib Akhtar sped from around forty yards as if he was taking out his anger on the batsman. Glenn McGrath had a more classical one, whereas more recently, Jasprit Bumrah’s one is somewhat of an amalgamation of brisk walking and then a sudden acceleration towards the end.
Jofra’s though is a lot more relaxed. He snatches the ball and dashes ahead as if he had walked straight from the bed for a short morning stroll. He darts linearly, with the arms oscillating in a picture-perfect motion, the knees bending in just the absolute accurate angle before the shoulders as the hips jostle ahead and the ball is released from the quintessential position beside the ear. It is a rather mellowed process through which he unleashes the ball, but eventually, it carries an incredible bout of fire and susurration in it; which, I think, is a reflection of Archer’s persona as well. Yes, he is a pretty casual individual and doesn’t tumult around a lot with his adversaries outside the game. However, there’s this incessant burning rage that resides within him, with a point to prove to the masses in this major stage of the game as well.
To be asked to change nationalities and then drafted in the senior squad ahead of the World Cup without the adequate amount of preparation with the camp brings with it an incredible amount of pressure and a flurry of expectations to instantly get in the groove and perform at a certain high standard. Especially in a country where the media doesn’t think twice before stripping a player off all his skill and expertise, any such individual will always have to be on his toes to avoid the constant public scrutiny. In such situations, his inherently calm mien and conduct helps him dodge these obstacles on his way towards further scintillations. However, on the field, all his obsessions for the game come into play. Generating such improbable pace with such a nonchalant attitude requires some critical natural flair and athleticism. Thankfully for England, Jofra possesses it in abundance and hence is able to channel it brilliantly in a tournament of such magnificent magnitude. The way he has managed to adjust his lengths, vary the pace when asked for and switch between bowling the defensive and attacking lines in such a quick span of time speaks volumes of the plethora of innate dexterity that he carries.
He really doesn’t have to do the archetypal fast bowler’s stuff and try to overawe the batsman through other activities. Jofra Archer’s intrinsic awesomeness will always fortify that it happens without any hassle.