Darren Gough: ‘Luxury’ of Jofra Archer could put David Willey’s England place under pressure

LOOKING at England’s win in the third Test in St Lucia, the one good thing moving forward for me is that there now seems an actual accountability for people’s performances in English cricket.

England bowler David Willey of the Scorchers bats during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Perth Scorchers. (Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

I am not saying the personnel was right for the Test, but the selection was spot on at least.

The balance was right at last, even if it took the selectors three Tests. They had five batsmen, the all-rounder at six, the wicket-keeper at seven and then our best bowlers.

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Now if Jonny Bairstow does not get runs at seven they will bring in Ben Foakes. If Jos Buttler does not get runs at five they will bring in a different batsman.

There will now be a new opening batsman in place of Keaton Jennings. I think that is plain to see. Looking at No 3, Joe Denly’s place will depend on how he starts the new season and if he gets runs.

There still might be a different top three going forward, although I doubt it. I think Rory Burns has just shown enough signs of someone who can play at this level and has a great temperament and he did have a couple of good dismissals.

I think there might be two or three places available, but the rest of the team picks itself for the Test with Ireland in July.

Bowling-wise Mark Wood had a brilliant spell of 5-41 although he did not look the same in the second innings.

Jofra Archer of the Hurricanes looks on during the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Thunder and the Hobart Hurricanes at Spotless Stadium on January 1. (Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

It tells us that we have to manage him well and pick him on the right pitches.

The good thing now is we have Stuart Broad and James Anderson to open the bowling.

Then, depending on the conditions, we have a choice as the third seamer between Wood, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes as Ben Stokes is better as the fourth as he is the all-rounder. That is great moving forward.

If I was a young batsman and batting at four, five or six for my county I would be saying, ‘I want to bat one, two or three’ as there are three positions where, if you start the season well, you are potentially three innings away from playing against Ireland.

Attention now switches to the one-day series and for me Jofra Archer has got to get into that England squad somehow.

There are a few players under pressure to perform and a couple who were not at their best in the Big Bash such as Liam Plunkett and David Willey.

I would not say Plunkett is under too much pressure as he has been England’s best one-day bowler for the past 18 months.

Willey came back from injury and missed Sri Lanka before the Big Bash and it did not go his way. This is a big tour for him.

He has got variety and brings left-arm swing to the party, but if he does not perform Archer is waiting on the outskirts and there is also Tom Curran, who has had a good winter, and Denly.

But if England win this series 5-0 they will not make any changes for the World Cup and Archer might come in after it. For me he is that talented a cricketer that we have to get him into the squad for the World Cup.

He is that ‘luxury’ player that you need. But it is a case of who he gets in ahead of.

It is a big series too for the West Indies, who are a good one-day side. Saying that they have been blown apart with their fast bowling with Keemo Paul injured and now Shannon Gabriel is banned for four matches.

Their top-order batting is brilliant, but it looks like being a big test for Chris Gayle, who wants to bow out in the World Cup. He has got to get runs after missing out in the Bangladesh tour. He has to get runs if he wants that fairytale ending in England.