It is almost time for yet another edition of the grandest league of the world, the IPL. For the fans, it is the time of excitement, but for the franchises, it is the time for final preparation before the league takes off. At a time where other leagues must be running through their final strategy, the Rajasthan Royals have been hit by a huge blow. Jofra Archer has been ruled out for at least the start of the IPL if not more, owing to an elbow injury.
The Barbados-born has been the Royals’ premier pacer and one of their biggest strengths over the last three seasons or so. This is a huge blow for the Royals as he almost single-handedly carried their entire bowling attack last season and was also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament last season.
Archer was also a handy lower-order batsman for the team as he provided a strong finish to the innings. In his absence, the Royals will have a lot of bases to cover in order to have a good season next time around.
So, considering Jofra Archer’s all-round abilities, we list 3 players who can do a decent job as a replacement for him in IPL 2021:
1. Scott Kuggeleijn
The Kiwi bowling all-rounder made his international debut back in 2017 but has gained recognition in the last couple of years. Scott Kuggeleijn is a genuine fast bowler who can bowl consistently at 140 kmph and can also bat well lower down the order. He has played in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings in 2019 but could not show much of his talent as he played only two games in all.
However, he was in the talks recently for his wonderful performance in the latest CPL season. Playing for the St Lucia Zouks, Kuggeleijn picked 17 wickets in 11 games and was the highest wicket-taker of the season. Following his good performance in the league, he was also picked in the New Zealand T20I squad against the West Indies, but he could not get a game in the series.
The USP of his skill set is his knack for picking up wickets regularly, which is very important in T20 cricket. To top it he can also produce some fireworks later in the innings. Thus, he provides some very useful T20 skills and can be a decent replacement for Jofra Archer.
2) Thisara Perera
Thisara Perera has been a veteran as far T20 cricket is concerned. He has also been a part of the IPL for many years and has played for many franchises in different seasons. He is also a part of the Sri Lankan T20I squad currently, not to forget his experience in T20 leagues around the globe.
He bats at a strike rate north of 150 and also has the knack of picking up wickets, especially at the death despite being a bit expensive. To the surprise of many, he also has a hattrick in T20 cricket which he picked against India in 2016 at Ranchi. Thus, he is a perfect T20 package with a combination of firepower, decent bowling, and experience.
His IPL numbers too are not bad where he plays at the strike-rate of 137 and has taken 31 wickets in 37 matches. Thus, he can give the team four overs and can finish the innings pretty well with his strikes at the bottom of the innings. Thus, Rajasthan Royals’ problem can be solved to quite an extent if they bring in Thisara Perera.
3) Jack Wildermuth
The Australian all-rounder has been a wholesome name as far as the BBL is concerned, having played for as many as five seasons. Jack Wildermuth started his BBL journey with the Brisbane Heat and currently plays for the same team. His name comes on this list because of his wonderful performance in the latest BBL season.
Wildermuth was ranked seventh in BBL’s list of best all-rounders of the season with a rating of 41.73. He picked 13 wickets at a strike rate of 19.38 in the season. He did not score much because of his lower position but his strike-rate was as high as 147. All in all, he had a good season.
Although not as good, Wildermuth’s abilities and skills are similar to that of Archer. He might have gone unsold in the auction because of a lot of competition in his category, but he is a decent player who can have a good season if picked. The Royals should keep an eye on him to fill Archer’s slot.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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