Kevin Pietersen backs England’s Joffra Archer for the Ashes

Joffra Archer should join James Anderson and Stuart Broad in England’s bowling line-up for this summer’s Ashes, according to Kevin Pietersen.

The former England Test captain praised the impact Archer has made in his short international career so far, including his impressive performance in the victory against South Africa in the World Cup opener last week.

Pietersen believes Archer, who he describes as a “special talent”, provides an added dimension to England, who face Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Monday, ahead of a busy summer of cricket.

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Asked whether Archer can lead England to World Cup glory, Pietersen told Sky Sports News: “Absolutely. They want to keep him fit.

“He will be hungry for success. Having faced him, having played with him in Australia in the Big Bash he is something to be looked after just because of the pace and bounce he has the ability to take wickets. He had that ability to take wickets all the way throughout the innings.

“You have got to look after those guys. He is a special, special talent. I am telling you now it should be an Anderson, Broad and Joffra Archer combination come the first Test matches of the Ashes.”

Pietersen says Archer “ticks every single box” for England with his ability to take wickets throughout the innings, particularly when during the middle overs of their World Cup campaign.

“The addition of Joffra Archer to that setup gives England the capabilities to take wickets from overs 1 to 50.

“Where England have struggled is with the new ball. Occasionally they might get a couple of wickets with the new ball and then try and back Rashid to get wickets.

“If Rashid doesn’t get any wickets in the middle overs then they struggle in the middle overs. But their scoring with the bat is truly phenomenal.

“Archer who can knock over the top order of every single team. He can then come in the middle of the innings and get a couple of wickets from short pitched deliveries and then at the death he is a fantastic bowler.

“Their batting is phenomenal, their fielding is world class and their bowling has just gone up to phenomenal too.”

‘Warner will be a big problem for England’

David Warner scored an unbeaten 89 in Australia’s seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan on Saturday on his official international return.

The match at Bristol came fifteen months on from the ball-tampering affair in South Africa and Pietersen expects the opener to prove a serious challenge to England’s bowling this summer.

“This whole summer for England, Warner is going to be a big problem,” Pietersen said.

“I interviewed him in India after a couple of his [IPL] innings’ and he just said to me, ‘I have had enough, I just want to score runs’. He was out of the game for such a long time. All he wants to do is score runs.

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“Man of the match yesterday. He left the IPL three quarters of the way through – top run scorer. Warner is going to be a problem for England.

“The more [the supporters] boo him, and I know it having been on the receiving end, the more [as a player] you want to capitalise and score runs.

“So if I was the English crowds – I know they probably can’t help themselves come 4-5 o’clock in the afternoon – you have got to leave players like that alone. Because their passion, their drive and intensity in their game takes them to a new level.

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