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David Willey knows he needs to perform as Jofra Archer enters the equation

David Willey knows he needs to perform as Jofra Archer enters the equation
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The left-armer has found himself out of England's 50-over side.

David Willey is hoping to tame a short boundary in St Kitts and lock down his World Cup place but accepts England face an "interesting dilemma" over Jofra Archer.

Willey's left-arm swing has been a regular part of England's limited-overs set-up over the past four years, playing 67 of his country's 114 white-ball matches since the last tournament.

Ordinarily he would be inked in to make the 15-man cut but the imminent availability of Barbados-born Archer represents a challenge to the established pecking order, with the likes of Willey and Tom Curran potentially vulnerable.

In any circumstances bowling on the modestly proportioned Warner Park in Basseterre – known as the smallest ground in the Caribbean, with one particularly inviting 63-metre straight boundary and another just two metres longer – could be daunting.

Sussex's Jofra Archer, centre, could make England's World Cup squad
Sussex's Jofra Archer, centre, could make England's World Cup squad (Mark Kerton/PA)

Doing so in Twenty20s on Friday and Sunday, against a West Indies side led by the big-hitting Chris Gayle, appears positively perilous.

"They are all short boundaries, aren't they? It's going to be a challenge," Willey said on the eve of the second T20 of the series.

"The breeze probably knocks a good 10-20 metres off one side as well. As a bowler, you have to be smart and try to get them to hit to the long side, if there is one, or at least into the wind.

"It could come down to who bowls as smartly as they can."

Regardless of what transpires over the next two games, Archer's name will continue to be dropped liberally.

He has never been far from the conversation in recent weeks and head coach Trevor Bayliss has assured him of a chance to audition ahead of the World Cup.

"It's an interesting dilemma for the captain, coaches, selectors," said Willey.

"I imagine every bowler sat in that dressing room will be trying to make sure it's not them that gets left out should that happen.

"It's a group of players that have been together for three or four years now, that have got us to number one and there's a reason for that.

"Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they're available, whether that's the right thing I don't know.

"I don't know Jofra particularly well. I couldn't tell you if he's got a particularly good record in white-ball cricket to be honest.

"But you have to accept these things and there's one way to make sure it's not you – by performing out in the middle."

After an impressive run of form last summer Willey has had a frustrating few months, unavailable to tour Sri Lanka with a back injury, forced to cut short his Perth Scorchers deal due to a shoulder problem and then overlooked for all five one-day internationals against the Windies.

David Willey has proved a key member of England's limited-overs squad in recent years
David Willey has proved a key member of England's limited-overs squad in recent years (Mark Kerton/PA)

Yet he remains England's likeliest source of swing with the new ball and a source of inherent variation.

"Hopefully, I'm the first left-armer on the team-sheet should there be one," he said.

"I think that ability to swing the ball up front is why I'm here and the reason why I've played as much white-ball cricket around the world.

"The more you can get the ball just going through to the keeper and avoid getting hit into the advertising hoardings the better."

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