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Exclusive: Renowned Coach Predicts Jofra Archer vs. Rohit Sharma Duel Will Decide England’s Fate

Exclusive insights from renowned coach Steffan Jones on the pivotal Jofra Archer vs. Rohit Sharma duel and its potential impact on the T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final between India and England.

Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya
W. Bhattacharyy

Last Updated: 2024-06-27

Louis Hobbs

6 minutes read

Renowned fast bowling coach Steffan Jones feels the bowlers who will adapt and react at the last moment will have an upper hand against the likes of Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Rohit Sharma.

Providence Stadium’s 200-Run Challenge

The Providence Stadium in Guyana is yet to witness a team breach the 200-run mark. The second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2024 between India and England could be different as Rohit Sharma, Jos Buttler, and Phil Salt are striking at close to 160.

After the 10-wicket humiliation by England in the previous T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide in 2022, Rohit will be keen to make amends against the defending champions. 

England Bowling Coach Speaks Up

The pacers have an uphill task as renowned fast bowling coach Steffan Jones feels the top-order batters of both teams will dictate terms in the fixture.

The 50-year-old from Somerset has trained superstars such as Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer, besides coaching Indian speedsters Jaydev Unadkat, Ishant Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Varun Aaron with his science-driven approach.  

"They are both strong teams in the competition. They are all elite players, and whoever performs on the day will win the game. Rohit is a big wicket at the start, and Archer is bowling at a good pace.

If Buttler and Salt come off, it could be a battle between the two opening pairs or between the batters and death bowling. I think that's where games are won," Jones told SportsBoom.com.

Image Credits: Cricshots

Image Credits: Cricshots

The Importance of Rhythm and Skill

Jones has had coaching stints with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He highlighted how the Indian domestic competition instilled rhythm in the English players and narrowed the gap.

"It will be tough for the Indians as most English players are marquee signings in the IPL [which finished a week before the start of the ICC event]," he said, adding that it eventually depends on the bowler's competence to hoodwink the batter.

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It gets down to the bowler's skill set being able to adapt and react at the last moment, where they move their feet, and play their shot. Bowlers who have done that have been successful.

Steffan Jones

Ones to Watch

Fast bowler Archer and leg-spinner Adil Rashid have been England's best bowlers with nine wickets each. Chris Jordan's hat-trick against the USA will keep him in good spirits ahead of the clash with India.

"The more they bowl in the conditions, they will get better at it. Plus, the bowlers also have rhythm from the IPL. Some of them [like Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, and Will Jacks] bowled sporadically in the IPL. Competition and games are all about rhythm," said Jones.

The Indian bowlers have delivered the goods in the tournament with left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh being the tournament's second-highest wicket-taker so far with 15 scalps in six outings.

Senior pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the last edition due to an injury, has picked up 11 wickets at an economy of 4.08 - the best among all bowlers who have played five matches or more.

Rohit led from the front with a fiery 92 against Australia in the last Super Eight match, and now India needs Virat Kohli to fire after a string of low scores. The star batter has 66 in six outings and averages 11.

Five years ago, Kohli scored a match-winning 59 off 45 balls against the West Indies at this venue and that should inspire him to stage a comeback.

Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya is a cricket journalist based in India who takes a keen interest in stories that unfold on and off the field. His expertise lies in news writing, features and profiles, interviews, stats, and numbers-driven stories. He has also worked as a podcaster and talk show host on cricket-related shows on YouTube and Spotify.