Rajasthan Royals fast bowler Jofra Archer has been ruled out for the entire Indian Premier League 2021 season. The right-arm pacer has had an elbow issue during the Ind vs Eng series. He returned to England for surgery. He was ruled for a portion of the season at first, and RR hoped Archer would land in India. The England Cricket Board issued an official statement on Friday announcing Archer’s absence from the IPL in 2021.
Archer’s absence for the entire season is a setback for RR, who find themselves at the bottom of the table with just one victory in four games. Archer became the third English player to be ruled out for the entire season. Ben Stokes, RR’s star all-rounder, fractured his finger in the team’s first game against Punjab Kings and has already returned home. In addition to him, batsman Liam Livingstone has returned home due to bio-bubble fatigue. He hadn’t played yet this season.
Let’s take a look at the three possible replacements Rajasthan Royals could rope in place of Jofra Archer.
Ben Dwarshuis can be a viable replacement for Jofra Archer. Dwarshuis ended the BBL 2020/21 season as the joint second-highest wicket-taker with 24 wickets in 13 matches and played a crucial role for Sydney Sixers to win the title. He is a standout performer with loads of experience in this format. He has appeared in 69 T20 matches so far, taking 85 wickets at an average of 23 and an economy rate of just over 8.
Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) and Rajasthan Royals both made good offers for him in the IPL 2018 auction, with Punjab winning the fight for him for INR 1.40 crore. However, he is yet to play in the IPL.
Tim Southee of New Zealand could be another choice to replace Jofra Archer. The Rajasthan Royals are looking to bolster their bowling attack by bringing in an experienced wicket-taker. Southee, who is currently ranked sixth in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings, has 99 wickets in 80 T20I innings for New Zealand can be a valuable addition to the RR squad.
In the recently concluded T20I series, Tim Southee was instrumental in New Zealand’s victory over Bangladesh. In just three matches, he took 6 wickets at an economy rate of just 7.
Oshane Thomas is a powerful and menacing West Indian bowler who stands 6 and a half feet tall. In the RR team, he may also be a perfect alternative for Archer. His ability to swing the ball at a high pace makes him a valuable asset, and he also has raw speed. He bowls in a similar style to Archer, with strong action and a deadly bouncer.
In 15 T20I matches, he has 18 wickets, with the best figures of 5/28. In IPL 2019, he played for Rajasthan Royals and took five wickets in four matches.