Rajasthan Royals’ Jofra Archer is likely to miss the first four games of this year’s Indian Premier League at least after the England pacer successfully underwent surgery on his right hand following his return to England after the conclusion of the India-England series.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that Archer will need two weeks of rehabilitation and then a call will be made on him resuming training.
Archer’s participation in the IPL was already in some doubts because of an elbow injury that the pacer was facing but the recent surgery, where he got a piece of glass removed from the middle finger of his right hand, puts his participation in further doubts. He had injured himself while cleaning his house in January and the injury was managed by the England medics throughout the entirety of the India tour.
Archer’s absence, therefore, leaves a huge gap in the RR squad, who heavily depend on the England pacer’s ability to bowl with the new ball and come in and nail the yorkers towards the end. However, they would feel a little better knowing the fact that they have an able replacement in Chris Morris, whom the Royals resigned in the IPL 2021 auction with a massive fee of INR 16.25 crore.
Morris has played for Rajasthan before and does well at containing runs towards the end and can also score quick runs with the bat down the order. However, according to Morris, leading the attack will be an added responsibility on this South African.
“It won’t be a new role if I am leading an attack, won’t be new if I am supporting. There is a little bit of responsibility when it comes to leading the attack. But like I said, it wouldn’t be alien to me,” Morris said.
The 33-year-old also hoped that Archer is fit and can help the team towards the later stages of the tournament.
Other than Morris, Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman can also fill the void if need be with his yorkers and cutters but lately, the Fizz hasn’t been as effective as he used to be. The other pacers in RR’s squads are Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya. Shivam Dube, whom RR bought for INR 4.4 crore in the 2021 auction can also contribute with the ball.
Rajasthan will play their first game of IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 12.