The 2021 edition of the IPL is set to resume on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates. However, six weeks before the competition’s resumption, the Rajasthan Royals team management have got an additional task. It is to hunt for Jofra Archer’s replacement. In case you didn’t know, the England fast bowler will be out of action for the remainder of the year because of injury.
On top of that, the Rajasthan Royals will also probably miss the services of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Since Archer was the Most Valuable Player in IPL 2020, the Royals will try to sign Jofra Archer’s replacement soon. Here are the top five candidates to join the RR squad in IPL 2021 as Jofra Archer’s replacement.
1. Sreesanth can be Jofra Archer’s replacement
Indian fast bowler Sreesanth went unsold in IPL 2021 Auction. He had registered himself for the auction. However, none of the eight franchises showed interest in his services. Sreesanth played his last IPL season in 2013 for the Rajasthan Royals. After that, he got involved in a match-fixing scandal and received a ban from all forms of the sport.
Sreesanth returned to the Kerala domestic cricket team in the 2020/21 season. He performed well with the ball and picked up wickets in crucial matches for the team. In fact, he even bowled a few deliveries as a leg-spinner. It will be interesting to see Sreesanth returns to RR in IPL 2021.
2. Dasun Shanaka
Sri Lankan T20I skipper Dasun Shanaka could be a decent addition to the Rajasthan Royals squad. Shanaka performed brilliantly in the white-ball matches against India. He can join hands with Chris Morris in the overseas department of the Rajasthan Royals squad.
For the record, Shanaka has played 108 T20 matches in his career, amassing 2,208 runs at a strike rate of 143.09. His best score in the shortest format of the game is 131*. Also, he has picked up 30 wickets at an economy rate of 8.71. Shanaka could provide strength to the Royals lineup in both departments.
3. Carlos Brathwaite can be Jofra Archer’s replacement
Carlos Brathwaite is one of the few players who has done well in other T20 leagues but is yet to fire in the IPL. Many fans would remember Brathwaite for his four back-to-back maximums that helped West Indies defeat England in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 Final. Brathwaite can also bowl right-arm pace.
He has been a part of the SunRisers Hyderabad, the Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Speaking of Brathwaite’s numbers in overall T20 cricket, the Barbados-born player has scored 1,923 runs at a strike rate of 136.28 and scalped 195 wickets at an economy rate of 8.14 in 210 T20 matches.
4. Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan is a player who has been very successful in the IPL. The left-arm fast bowler from New Zealand was a match-winner for the Mumbai Indians. However, the Mumbai-based franchise have not shown any interest in his services of late. McClenaghan went unsold in IPL Auction 2021.
Since the Kiwi pacer has the experience of playing in the IPL, he can return to the league as Jofra Archer’s replacement. McClenaghan has played 203 T20 matches in his career, picking up 241 wickets at an economy rate of 8.53. He can also play in the batting-order as a pinch hitter.
5. Fidel Edwards
West Indies’ veteran fast bowler Fidel Edwards is an express pacer like Jofra Archer. He played in the United Arab Emirates during the Abu Dhabi T10 League and performed well for the Delhi Bulls. Also, he has returned to the West Indies T20I team.
Since Edwards knows how to trouble the batsmen with his pace, the Rajasthan Royals can consider him as an option for Jofra Archer’s replacement. The 39-year-old has picked up 109 wickets in his T20 career of 115 wickets. He even won the IPL with the Deccan Chargers back in 2009.