Rajasthan Royals have suffered a huge blow ahead of the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Their lead fast bowler, Jofra Archer, is ruled out from the remainder of the IPL season in 2021 due to his elbow injury. The English all-format bowler will miss the action for the rest of the cricketing calendar in 2021 which also includes the second phase of IPL 2021 in September-October.
Jofra Archer was the Most Valuable Player of the season in IPL 2020. Ever since making his debut in IPL 2018. Archer has had a huge impact on the limited success of the Rajasthan-based franchise. As a result, Archer, who was unavailable for the first leg of the IPL 2021, will again be a huge miss for the franchise in the UAE leg starting September 19.
The franchise will be keen to add an overseas player as a replacement for Jofra Archer for the remainder of IPL 2021. Here, we discuss five players who can be a replacement for Jofra Archer in the second leg of IPL 2021.
1) Matt Henry
The right-arm pace bowler has been in superb form with the ball in the last couple of years for New Zealand. Although he played just six T20Is, Henry is a proven match-winner in one-day cricket for New Zealand. Matt Henry picked 98 wickets in 53 ODIs for the BlackCaps. Apart from ODIs, Henry also bowled well against England in a recent Test match and showed his worth with the red ball.
Matt Henry has swing and pace which makes him a contender for the replacement of Jofra Archer. The 29-year old was the second-highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets in the T20 domestic league for the Kiwis. He is capable of taking wickets with new balls and can also deliver yorkers in the death overs for Rajasthan Royals.
2) Billy Stanlake
Billy Stanlake has always been in consideration as a T20 bowler. The Australian speedster is known for his height which helps him to extract extra bounce from the wicket. Stanlake has played 19 T20I matches picking up 27 wickets with an impressive economy rate of 7.77 for Australia.
The 26-year old has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League. However, he couldn't play many games in IPL 2017 due to injury. Stanlake has picked 7 wickets in six IPL matches so far with a strike rate of 20. He could be the best pick for Rajasthan Royals who can deliver in both, powerplay and death overs.
3) Mitchell McClenaghan
After giving a consistent performance, Mitchell McClenaghan didn't play many games in 2019 as Mumbai Indians finally released him after IPL 2020. The Kiwi pacer has played 56 IPL matches where he has picked 71 wickets with an average of 25.39.
Apart from his IPL exploits, the pacer holds 29 T20I caps for New Zealand with a tally of 30 wickets at a strike rate of 20.27. With his enormous IPL experience, the left-arm pacer could be a perfect replacement for Jofra Archer for Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming IPL season. He has delivered under pressure as a three-time IPL champion with Mumbai Indians.
4) Oshane Thomas
Oshane Thomas is another option who can replace Jofra Archer in this second leg of IPL 2021. The Caribbean speedster has been a part of the Royals franchise even in 2019 and 2020. Though he could find a place in the playing XI in only four matches in the IPL.
The right-arm pace bowler has played 16 T20Is for West Indies and has picked 19 wickets at a strike rate of 17.37. The 24-years-old also picked a five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka and registered his best figures of 5/28 in T20I cricket. Rajasthan Royals can trust his wicket-taking abilities as he can be the best option as a replacement for Jofra Archer.
5) Sheldon Cottrell
The left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell is a highly skilled white-ball bowler for the West Indies. In IPL 2020 auction, Punjab Kings acquired the services of the Caribbean at a price of INR 8.5 Crores. However, he had a below-par outing and went unsold in the next auction in 2021.
The left-arm pacer can swing the new ball and pick early wickets. He also has many bowling variations to deceive the batsmen at any stage of the game. Cottrell has played 34 T20Is for the national side accounting for 42 wickets at an economy rate under 8. He has represented Punjab in six IPL games, with as many wickets in his IPL career.