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Jofra Archer focuses on 'feeling good' as he nears Mumbai Indians return

He doesn't know when he will be available but is "trying to put myself in the best position possible"

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
21-Apr-2023
Jofra Archer says he is "trying to put myself in the best position possible" to return to the Mumbai Indians team after missing their last four matches as a precaution following soreness in his right elbow.
Archer, who made his return to international cricket earlier this year after a long lay-off, made his Mumbai debut in their defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 2. He finished with 0 for 33 from his four overs, and has been unavailable since due to what coach Mark Boucher described as "a little niggle".
But he is expected to play again within the next week, potentially as soon as Mumbai's home fixture against Punjab Kings on Saturday night. He bowled around four overs in the nets on Thursday afternoon, and the ECB - who have been in regular contact with Mumbai's medical staff - is expecting him to return soon.
"Obviously the last two weeks aren't exactly what you would hope for after being so fully active," Archer told ESPNcricinfo. "But it's what you expect when you've been off for a long time: the body's not going to be 100 percent straight away.
"There are going to be moments where it feels a lot more serious than it actually is. I don't know which game will be the next game, but I'm just trying to put myself in the best position possible [to play].
"To be honest, I still want to bowl fast and stuff - but when you feel good, you bowl good. I just want to focus on feeling good at the minute."
Mumbai have invested heavily in Archer, initially signing him for INR 8 crore (£780,000 approx.) in last year's auction despite knowing that he would miss the season through injury. He has since represented MI Cape Town, their affiliate franchise in the SA20, where he played alongside his Mumbai team-mates Dewald Brevis and Duan Jansen.
Since arriving in India, he has been working closely with Ben Langley, the former ECB lead physiotherapist who joined Mumbai as their head of sports science and medicine earlier this year. "I've been really well looked after here. You feel at home," Archer said.
"Everyone has welcomed me with open arms. It's a great franchise and hopefully, I get the opportunity to win a few games for them. We've won more games than we've lost which is miles better than what we did last year, so everything is going well and the mood in the camp is good."
After starting the season with back-to-back defeats, Mumbai have now won three games in a row - and having watched their first two games at the Wankhede from the dugout, Archer is excited at the prospect of a potential home debut before long.
"I probably didn't have the debut that I wanted," he said, "but I do have the opportunity to debut at home. Hopefully, I can make it a proper one this time.
"When we played Chennai at home, I couldn't believe the atmosphere - both teams have an unbelievable following. It is always great seeing the sea of blue [in the stands]."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98