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Archer finds his mark

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'It's nice to know my efforts aren't going unseen' (0:40)

England pacer Jofra Archer has been voted the debutant of 2019 (0:40)

One of the most exciting fast bowlers produced by any country in recent times is the Debutant of the year in the ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019. More on the awards here

Jofra Archer

Tests: 30 wickets at 27.40 (7 matches)
ODIs: 23 wickets at 24.73 (14 matches)
T20Is: 2 wickets at 12.00 SR (1 match)

This was the year that Archer went from highlights reel to high-definition. Once a social media-only phenomenon for many English fans through his BBL and IPL exploits, Archer's international breakthrough transcended generational divides and placed him front and centre of the cricketing world in 2019.

Following the ECB's decision to pull their qualification criteria in line with the ICC's, ostensibly to squeeze him into their World Cup team, Archer became a must-pick for England within two ODIs: a lightning-fast spell of 4-2-6-1 on home debut against Pakistan was enough to confirm his place in the squad.

He starred at the World Cup, with three-wicket hauls in five of England's first six games, and despite suffering a side strain midway through the tournament, he played every game and finished as their leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps. After sealing the victory with a nerveless Super Over, he was called up for the Lord's Test after an injury to James Anderson and made an instant impact. Cranking it up to 96mph, he struck Steve Smith in the neck, forcing him to retire hurt and ruling him out of the third Test with a delayed concussion.

At Headingley, he turned his pace down and instead focused on seam movement in helpful conditions, taking 6 for 45 to prove his multifaceted talent, and he added another six-wicket haul at The Oval to finish the series with 22 wickets at 20.27. Truly, it seems unfathomable that his best is still to come.

Key moment

It was "an easy decision" for Eoin Morgan, but throwing the ball to Archer - a 24-year-old in his 15th international game - in a World Cup final Super Over was a huge call. After starting with a yorker in the tramlines, harshly called wide, his third ball was smoked over midwicket by Jimmy Neesham to leave seven needed from four balls, but after two yorkers and a surprise short ball, he nailed his final ball again. Jos Buttler whipped off the bails, and Archer sprinted out towards backward point, diving like J├╝rgen Klinsmann before his team-mates swarmed over and engulfed him.

The numbers

92.4 Speed (in mph) of the Archer bouncer that struck Smith at Lord's and concussed him.

3 Number of ODIs Archer had played before the start of the World Cup.

What they said

"I don't think I've seen a more talented bowler in my time. When you can bowl 90mph and with the control that he's got, then he is going to be a huge threat anywhere in the world. It is very rare for a 24-year-old to be able to come in, be exposed to this environment and then step up and improve game by game as quickly as Jof is doing it."
- Ben Stokes after the Oval Test

The closest contenders

Abid Ali
A latecomer to the international game after 12 years striving hard in domestic cricket, Abid made 112 in a losing cause on ODI debut against Australia in March before adding hundrds in his first two Tests, at home against Sri Lanka.

Rahkeem Cornwall
A larger-than-life offspinner whose cult-hero status was secured years before he become a serious international prospect, Cornwall starred in his second Test with 7 for 75 against Afghanistan.

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019