Ian Bell says there is no way England can ignore Jofra Archer for this summer’s Ashes.
Archer, who was only made eligible for selection in March, has quickly become irreplaceable in the ODI bowling attack despite playing just six matches.
His fearsome pace, reaching speeds of 95 miles per hour, has caused chaos at the World Cup.
A Test call-up beckons ahead of this summer’s Ashes, but while Archer is undoubtedly a rare talent, his red-ball skills are relatively unproven.
Nonetheless Bell, who has played 118 Test matches for England, explains why the paceman simply must open the bowling against the ‘old enemy’.
“It’s been an incredible rise,” the 37-year-old told talkSPORT.
“There’s no doubt he [Archer] should be playing in the Ashes. I faced him in red-ball cricket last year.
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“I know there’s a lot of talk about whether he can bowl like that at the end of the day in a Test match, but there’s only one way to find out.
“I do believe – from what I’ve seen, faced and watched – that he’s a rare talent.
“England will be better off with him in all formats. I couldn’t think of a better time to get him in because he’ll be learning with Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, and that’s important.
“Whatever he can learn from those guys going forward is going to be good for England in the future.”
Another player who looks set to make their Test debut this summer is ODI opener Jason Roy, who hit a wonderful century in the recent victory over Bangladesh.
England’s struggles at the top of the order in the Test format are well documented – and many believe the explosive Roy could be the answer.
And Bell suggests that while it certainly represents a gamble, it could be one which pays off.
“We know he’s absolute quality in these formats. Ability-wise there’s no question, but he doesn’t open for Surrey, which is an interesting one,” Bell added.
“He bats lower down the order and opening in a Test match is a totally different style of cricket. Opening against a Dukes ball in England isn’t easy.
“It would be an interesting call. I think he’s done everything he can and I’d like to see him get an opportunity.
“There’s not many people jumping out in that top three at the moment.
“It’s a little bit of a gamble, but I think picking someone like Jason Roy is a positive option.
“It could go one of two ways, but you know if he bats a day of Test cricket, it’s going to be seriously good to watch and I’d like to watch that.”