Jofra Archer's participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has become doubtful after his elbow injury flared up during the recent five-match T20I series against India. The pacer has reportedly flown back to England to nurture his elbow and won't be taking part in the upcoming ODI series either.
The Barbados-born has had trouble with his elbow joint since the start of 2020. The T20 World Cup and the Ashes set to be played this year, Jofra Archer would not want to risk his chances of playing in those big series by aggravating his injury.
In case Jofra Archer pulls out of the entire tournament, it will be a massive blow for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) since he is such an integral part of their set-up.
While no one amongst the available pool of players can possibly match the standards of Jofra Archer, it might get inevitable for RR to look for a replacement.
Here are five replacement options for RR if Jofra Archer misses the tournament:
#1 Blair Tickner
New Zealand's Blair Tickner could be a good replacement option for Jofra Archer. The pacer had a great Super Smash 2020/21 and was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 17 wickets in 11 matches.
He bowls at a quick pace and could be quite impactful at the Wankhede Stadium where there is good bounce and carry. The Royals will be playing five of their league games at this venue.
Ben Dwarshuis could be another good replacement option for Jofra Archer. He was highly impressive in the recent Big Bash League (BBL) with 24 wickets in 13 games.
Dwarshuis was the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament and has got a good amount of experience in the shortest format of the game. Thus far, he has played in 69 T20 matches and picked up 85 wickets at an average of 23 and an economy just over 8.
#3 Sheldon Cottrell
Sheldon Cottrell went unsold in the IPL 2021 auction held last month. He could be a good addition to the Rajasthan set-up and he will help add variety to their bowling attack.
Sheldon has featured in 104 T20 games thus far and picked up 135 wickets at an economy rate of 7.57. Even though he wasn't great in his first IPL season last year, he could make an impact if provided with another opportunity.
#4 Billy Stanlake
Australia's Billy Stanlake is a lanky pace bowler who can consistently bowl over 145 kmph and can be a decent replacement for Jofra Archer. He failed to get many opportunities and played in only 6 IPL games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He picked up 7 wickets at an average of 28.57 and an economy rate of 8.33.
Stanlake's height could be a great advantage for the Royals while playing in Mumbai and his pace could make a difference at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi where the pitches are often slow. RR will be playing 4 of their league-stage matches in Delhi.
#5 Jason Behrendorff
Rajasthan Royals could possibly even rope in Jason Behrendorff for Jofra Archer. The left-arm pacer is great with the new ball and has got some experience of playing in the Indian conditions.
Behrendorff is usually quite economical with the ball. In the 79 T20 games that he played thus far, he picked up 90 wickets and conceded at only 7.20 runs per over. In BBL 2020-21, he picked up 16 wickets in 16 games at an economy rate of 7.03.