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Archer decision the final piece of England's World Cup jigsaw - Bayliss

Omnisport
NEWS
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982   //    26 Feb 2019, 04:20 IST
JofraArcher - Cropped
Jofra Archer in action for Hobart Hurricanes

England are close to concluding their plans for the Cricket World Cup with the decision over Jofra Archer set to be "the final piece of the jigsaw" for head coach Trevor Bayliss.

West Indies-born Archer will qualify to play for his adopted nation in March, two months before Eoin Morgan's side kick off their bid for a first world 50-over crown against South Africa.

England, the number-one team in the ICC ODI rankings, are likely to start the tournament on home soil as favourites, while 23-year-old quick Archer could offer an extra dimension to their seam attack with his added pace.

However, that could mean disrupting what has become a largely settled squad, with the likes of David Willey, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett perhaps most vulnerable to being left out should Archer be included in the 15-man party.

And Bayliss says he and the rest of the management team are not far away from being able to lock in their selections.

"I'd say very close. We've pretty much had the same 15, 16 or 17 players over the last three or four years," he told Sky Sports.

"We could probably name a 15, there's a Jofra Archer decision to be made at a later date. I think it's getting down to that being the final piece of the jigsaw."

England's third ODI against West Indies was washed out due to persistent showers in Grenada on Monday, leaving the five-match series poised at 1-1.

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And with just eight more ODIs before World Cup warm-ups against Australia and Afghanistan, Bayliss is keen to give all of his players a fair chance of making the final squad.

"It's been a bit of a juggling act," he added. "We want to have a look at one or two of the fringe guys as well. More than anything, just to give them a bit of a run out.

"I think the team that wins the World Cup will play a squad of players and whoever has got the strongest squad will go close to winning it.

"So we want to make sure some of our fringe players have played matches as well."

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