India captain Virat Kohli backed Jofra Archer to be England’s “X-factor” at the Cricket World Cup.
Despite playing just three one-day internationals, Archer was included in England’s 15-man squad for a tournament. They are set to enter as favourites.
The 24-year-old said Kohli was a wicket he wanted to take, while also eyeing West Indies star Chris Gayle.
Asked about Archer’s comments, Kohli said on Thursday: “Did he say that?
“I had no idea. OK, so that’s news to me, news to Morgs [England captain Eoin Morgan] as well.”
Kohli went on to sing the praises of Archer, who took three wickets at an average of 36 in his first three ODIs.
“If Jofra‘s said that, it’s a big compliment because he himself is a world-class bowler,” he said.
“The way he’s come about in the IPL over the past years I’ve seen him, and playing around the world. There’s a good reason why he’s been fast-tracked into playing for England in a tournament like the World Cup.
“I think he’s probably going to be their X-factor because he holds a skill set which is very different from anyone else. He can generate a lot of pace which can be intimidating and you don’t expect that because of his run-up.
“The way he’s built, he’s a great athlete and I’m sure the England team is delighted to have him as well. But he’s going to be pretty exciting to watch in the World Cup.
“I personally will be watching his bowling as well because whatever I’ve seen of him he’s been very, very impressive.”
India begin their tournament by facing South Africa on June 5. Six days after England open the event against the same opponents.
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