Former England fast bowler Simon Jones on 2023 WC, Virat Kohli & more
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Former England fast bowler Simon Jones on 2023 WC, Virat Kohli & more

Cricket News: Former England fast bowler Simon Jones on 2023 WC, Virat Kohli & more | Simon Jones on England’s World Cup chances

Former England pace bowler Simon Jones believes India are deserved favourites for the home World Cup, but England have a great chance of going back-to-back. Speaking exclusively to Lucy Rees on behalf of OnlineCricketBetting, Jones spoke about key players both within and outside England’s squad, touching on Jofra Archer’s future after another injury setback.

Jones also shared his thoughts on fast bowler Gus Atkinson, Ben Stokes’ return and whether this will be Virat Kohli’s last dance.

Simon Jones interview – Atinkinson, Stokes, Kohli & more

Here are the quotes from Jones’ interview.

What do you think of England calling up Gus Atkinson to the squad?

I think it’s an outstanding call. I’ve seen quite a bit of him over the last year and a bit. He’s got genuine pace, good control, I think it’s a great opportunity for him.

I think he’s earned that opportunity. I’m really looking forward to watching him bowl when he gets the opportunity and hopefully he does. I saw one game where he bowled up to 94 or 95 mph, so he’s going to be quick and quicker than anyone at the minute and hopefully he does well. 

Do you think it’s easy for a young player to hit the ground running in such a big event?

It’s one of those things when it gets to that level you can find out if someone is able to play at that level. It might sound a bit obvious but some people take to it and some people struggle slightly.

I think he’ll be fine. He’s got that confidence around him, he plays at Surrey so he’s got a lot of experience around of him. Jason Roy and more who have been there at that top level so I have no doubt he’ll be fine. I think he’ll hit the ground running and do well. 

Do you think pace will be key in India [in the WC]?

I think pace will definitely help. The wickets will be completely different. The ball will reverse out there, I used to enjoy bowling in India, I’ve been out there quite a few times.

It never bothered me, I think it was due to the fact I grew up bowling at Sophia Gardens mind where the wicket was really slow compared to others around. I was used to bowling on slow wickets. It’s one of those things where you have to learn and adapt and I think the bowlers will have to think on their feet at times but that’s what international cricket is about.

You have to be able to adapt to any given situation and try and do the best for your side really. 

Jofra Archer not in the main squad

I really feel for Jofra. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt when it comes to injuries and setbacks. I love watching Jofra bowl. I think he’s absolutely box office. Good pace, good skill, and he’s just one of those bowlers that when he does bowl, people sit up in their seats and watch.

I can totally understand where he’s probably been mentally over the last couple of years, he’s had setback after setback; his elbow, his back. He’ll be doing his utmost to get back into the team and into the squad just maybe he’s not quite ready yet. 

Travelling reserve?

If he’s fit, I can’t see why they wouldn’t put him in the team. He’s outstanding. If he is fit and firing and he’s bowling like he can, why not? He’s one of those people you’d want in your side every day of the week and twice on Sunday. If he is fit and firing I think he’ll play. 

Test cricket? Ashes 25/26?

How long is a bit of string, we don’t really know. We don’t know what his aspirations are, does he even want to carry on playing Test cricket. That’s a question he has to think about in his own head and in his own mind and what he has to do to carry on playing international cricket and cricket in general around the world.

He’s done so well when he has been fit but I think only Jofra knows. I’d love to see him in the Test team, I think he ticks so many boxes. He’s got immense pace, he’s a gun fielder and he can hold a bat as well. If there’s a chance to have him back in the Test side, I think he’s the only one who knows but I’d love to see him back in it. 

England 2nd favourites at the moment

I don’t see why they can’t go all the way. It will be tough going out to India.

India are favourites on home turf but at the end of the day you never know, it’s always on the day isn’t it? Whoever plays the best, it either goes your way or the other and that’s cricket. England could win it, they’ve got a really strong squad, fingers crossed. I’ll be watching and I’ll be looking forward to it because England are turning into a very good one-day outfit. 

Stokes back

When I saw the news, it was almost a repeat of Moeen Ali in the Ashes. But Ben reminds me of Andrew Flintoff in many ways, where he will do what’s best for the side, and that is play.

I could never ever see him saying no. Whoever asked him to come back, he was going to say yes every day of the week.

It’s great to see him back, he is just one of those guys. I played against him when he was younger and I’ve seen him develop through the years, he’s one of those that you’d want in your trenches. When it hits the fan, then you’d always turn to Ben Stokes so him being in the squad makes the other teams around the world think ‘oh god he’s back in the squad’. It’s a massive positive for England and let’s see how he does. 

Jos’ leadership

I think Jos has been doing a great job. He’s got a good cricket brain on him, you can see that with some of the decisions he’s made. He’s a good leader. He’s quietly spoken off the field, but when he’s in charge, the boys know exactly what he wants from them.

I think the character that he is is just brilliant. He leads from the front and the way he goes through the game and I think he’s an outstanding captain. I think the England boys will be rallying to do as well as they can for him. 

Virat Kohli last dance?

He’s 34, it won’t be his last dance. Look how fit he is. He’s a competitor. But then again it’s down to him and if he’s thinking about it. We don’t know. 34, and a batsman.

I still think he’s got a good few years in him. He looks after himself, he’s a professional.

I really enjoy watching him. He’s a fighter, he’s a scrapper. He’s one of the world’s best batters who has ever played the game. I’m looking forward to seeing him play but I think he’s got enough fire in his belly to keep on going, 100%.

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