Jofra Archer was the MVP of IPL 2020. Although his team Rajasthan Royals finished last, Jofra was excellent with the bat and ball. Unfortunately, it seems he might not play IPL this year. Archer has been nursing his elbow injury for quite some time. He could play India vs England series only after taking multiple injections.
In case you didn’t know, Jofra Archer was going to miss IPL 2020 also. However, as the tournament got postponed, Archer got a chance to play. A report in Telegraph Sport claims Archer will likely miss IPL 2021. The reason behind it is he wants to save his Test career. In case he pulls out, RR could possibly sign any of these five bowlers as his replacement.
5. Billy Stanlake
Australian pacer Billy Stanlake went unsold in IPL 2021 Auction. He had previously played for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Stanlake is a talented fast bowler who takes advantage of his tall height. Since he has IPL experience, he could be an asset to the Royals. Stanlake has played six IPL games in his career.
The right-arm pacer scalped seven wickets in those six appearances. His economy rate was 8.33. Talking about his numbers in T20I cricket, Stanlake has picked up 27 wickets in 19 matches. His best figures for Australia are 4/8. Thus, he can be a match-winner for RR.
4. Liam Plunkett could replace his English teammate Jofra Archer
Liam Plunkett is one of the underrated T20 stars. He has been consistent in white-ball cricket. Plunkett previously represented the Delhi Capitals in IPL. He played seven matches, picking up 4 wickets. His best figures of 3/17 show that if he gets going, he can turn the game with his wicket-taking skills. Also, Plunkett has regularly played T20 cricket at the county level.
In the T20I arena, Plunkett has represented England 22 times. The right-arm fast-medium bowler has taken 25 wickets for his country. His economy rate is less than 8. This statistic highlights the batsmen struggle to score big against him. Plunkett could thus replace his English teammate Jofra Archer in the RR squad for IPL 2021.
3. David Willey
David Willey has been a part of the Chennai Super Kings in the past. He is a left-arm fast bowler from England. Also, Willey can hit a few big shots like Jofra Archer. Willey did not play IPL 2020. However, he revealed he had got an offer from a franchise.
The English player gave priority to county cricket last year. But this year he was available to play. No IPL franchise signed him at the auction. Perhaps, Willey could come back to the league as Jofra Archer’s replacement. He can also be the back-up option for Mustafizur Rahman in case RR sign him as a replacement.
2. Sheldon Cottrell
Sheldon Cottrell is famous for his Salute celebration. The Caribbean star made his IPL debut last year for Punjab Kings. Cottrell was bought at a high price in last year’s auction. However, this year, no team bid for him. Cottrell did not perform so bad in his first IPL season.
He played six matches for Punjab and picked up six wickets. His economy rate was 8.80. But we should remember IPL happened in UAE last year. This year, the tournament returns to India, and the conditions will be so different. So, RR could consider him as Jofra Archer’s replacement.
1. James Faulkner could return to RR as replacement of Jofra Archer
James Faulkner was once a match-winner for Rajasthan. He was a top-level all-rounder for the team. Not only did Faulkner pick up wickets for the team, but he also scored some crucial runs. Recently, Faulkner played BBL for Hobart Hurricanes. He looked good on the field but went unsold in the IPL Auction.
Faulkner played his last IPL season in 2017. The Gujarat Lions was his last team. The Aussie is the only overseas bowler to take two five-wicket hauls in IPL. So, RR must think of bringing him back to the team. He can form a solid combination with Ben Stokes and Chris Morris in the all-rounder’s section.