England’s ace pace bowler, Jofra Archer was recently ruled out of cricket till indefinite future due to a low-grade stress fracture to his elbow. It was bad news for both England and the IPL team, Rajasthan Royals.
The injury was revealed after a scan and a sophisticated examination of his bowling arm. This injury which was sustained during the 2019 Cricket World Cup will likely require a minimum of three-month absence to get better.
According to reports, Archer knew something was wrong but he decided to take painkillers. This turned out to be crucial as Archer played an important role in England’s winning run.
It was during England’s tour of South Africa when Jofra finally submitted to the injury and the fracture was confirmed. On the morning of the fourth Test of the South Africa Series, Archer was seen leaving the field teary-eyed as he failed a late fitness test in Johannesburg.
He was subsequently ruled out of England’s tour to Sri Lanka, also likely to miss his stint in the Indian Premier League. Jofra’s earliest return can come during the three-match West Indies Test series in June.
Archer was Rajasthan Royals’ trump card during last season where he was the second-highest wicket-taker for the franchise after Shreyas Gopal. Archer took 11 wickets from 11 matches bowling 43 overs. He was very economical too, giving away only 291 runs at an economy of 6.76. In the 2018 season, Jofra took 15 wickets and was the leading wicket-taker for the Royals. He bowled 38.5 overs across 10 matches giving away 325 runs at an economy of 8.36.
Following England’s announcement the Rajasthan Royals, tweeted that they have been “working with the ECB to help Jofra Archer secure a speedy recovery, and still hope to see him in a Royals jersey this season”.
Archer bowled 400.5 overs for England across all formats of International Cricket in 2019. This included his brilliant World Cup performance when he took 20 wickets from 11 innings at an amazing economy of 4.57.
According to the IPL 2023 Schedule, Rajasthan Royals would be playing their first match against Chennai Super Kings on April 4th. And Jofra’s absence might make things difficult for the Royals as they take on one of the most successful teams in IPL history. In Archer’s absence, all the responsibilities will fall on the shoulders of Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron and Andrew Tye. The inexperienced Tom Curran might be a viable replacement for Archer as he is filling in for Archer on England’s squad as well.
Rajasthan Royals were at the bottom of the IPL Points Table, last season finishing in the 7th position. Royals have implemented a change in leadership in Steven Smith and are hopeful of better results this time. However, they will surely feel the absence of Archer’s services at their disposal. But then again, as the show must go on, the other bowlers at the Rajasthan camp will have to stand up to the occasion and try and win it for their team and their fans.