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5 bowlers who can replace Jofra Archer in Rajasthan Royals squad

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Jofra Archer’s injury has come as a huge setback for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) as the speedster is now unlikely to take part in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 which is starting from 29th March, 2020.

Although the Royals have released a statement claiming that they are working closely with the England Cricket Board (ECB) to make sure Archer gets fit to feature at some stage of IPL 2020, it doesn’t seem as if the ECB or the player himself would want to rush back into action given the nature of the injury.

Stress fractures are not easy to recover from and with less than 2 months left for the IPL 2020 to kick off, the Royals will probably have to prepare themselves to go through the season without the services of their bowling spearhead.

While it’s a huge task to fill the big boots of Jofra Archer, there are a few bowlers available who can do a decent job for the Royals in the absence of Archer. Here are 5 bowlers who can replace Jofra Archer in the Rajasthan Royals squad –

#5 Anrich Nortje

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje

Anrich Nortje is the best replacement for Jofra Archer. He has got a lot of pace and hits the surface pretty hard. But his lack of experience and expertise in death bowling might be an area of concern with the Royals not having many death bowling options.

He has got a good bouncer technique, but he doesn’t quite nail his yorkers all the time which means the batsmen can line him up for the short deliveries.

Nortje had featured for Cape Town Blitz in the last edition of Mzansi Super League (MSL) where he was impressive in patches but was pretty expensive at times with an overall economy rate of 8.65 in the tournament.

Despite Nortje’s tendency of leaking runs, there is no doubt about the fact that he is an impact bowler and can make a match-winning contribution for the Royals if they use him wisely with the new ball and in the middle phase of the innings.

#4 Alzarri Joseph

Alzarri Joseph
Alzarri Joseph

It was really surprising that none of the franchises placed bids for Alzarri Joseph in the IPL auction held in December last year.

Joseph made his IPL debut in the last season for the Mumbai Indians and in his first game itself, he registered the best bowling figures ever in the history of the tournament by taking 6 wickets for just 12 runs.

However, he couldn’t replicate that form in the next game as he went for more than 50 in his four overs and lost his spot in the Mumbai Indians playing XI. Mumbai opted not to retain him for the current season due to the host of fast bowling riches they already possess.

Joseph is tall and lanky and generates a little bit of extra bounce from the good length area which makes life difficult for the batsmen while trying to pull the ball. He has got a good accurate yorker as well.

It’s just that Joseph is a rhythm bowler. When he is in rhythm, he is a very tricky customer to deal with, but there will be days when he might be a little wayward. However, he can be a really good prospect for the Royals because of his wicket-taking ability.

#3 Mark Wood

Mark Wood
Mark Wood

Mark Wood was a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad in IPL 2018, but he had to return for national duty mid-way through the tournament.

Wood has given outstanding performances with the ball in international cricket in recent times especially in the last test of the England-South Africa test series, but most of those performances have come in red-ball cricket. However, he has got the skill-set to be equally impressive in white-ball cricket as well.

Mark Wood is quick and can generate speeds up to 150 KPH, which complemented with the in-swing he gets makes him a difficult customer for the batsmen. He has the ability to reverse swing the ball as well on abrasive Indian pitches where the ball gets roughed up quickly.

As a batsman, Wood is a clean striker of the ball and can provide some handy runs down the order just like Archer. Although the 29-year old has very limited experience of the IPL having played just one game, with his international experience he could definitely be an asset for the Royals.

#2 Adam Milne

Adam Milne
Adam Milne

Adam Milne has played only a handful of games in the IPL editions so far, but he has got a very impressive T20I record for New Zealand. He has played 21 T20Is for the Blackcaps and has taken 25 wickets at an economy rate of less than 8.

Milne’s novelty is the subtle variations of pace in his bowling. He can vary his pace by 20 kph without too much of a change in his action. His knuckle-ball is very difficult to pick as the action is very much similar to his stock delivery.

The main reason why Milne went unsold in the IPL 2020 auction is because he has not played too much of cricket recently and is also injury prone.

The last T20I that Milne played for New Zealand was in November 2018 against Pakistan in Dubai, while the last time he featured in the IPL was in November 2017 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Although he has picked just four wickets in his five IPL games, there is no doubting his wicket-taking abilities if he remains injury-free and is given a long run.

#1 Matt Henry

Matt Henry
Matt Henry

Matt Henry is a seam bowler who is at his best bowling upfront with the new ball. He may not one of the best options to use in the death over stages of the innings, but he can compensate that by taking wickets in the power-play overs thereby breaking the momentum of the innings.

The pitch at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, where the Rajasthan Royals play their home games, often has a bit of green tinge to it which would provide enough help to Henry and he can prove lethal because of his accurate length and upright seam position.

Henry’s ability to move the ball both ways from the same length and line makes him a difficult proposition to deal with upfront.

He was one of the star performers for New Zealand (NZ) in the ODI World Cup 2019 as he took 14 wickets in just 9 matches at an economy rate of less than 5 runs per over and was instrumental in taking New Zealand through to the final.

Although the 28-year old has played only a couple of games so far in the IPL with a solitary wicket to his name, he would be the perfect replacement for Archer.

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