IPL 2022 – Players who can replace Jofra Archer at Mumbai Indians
The famous Mumbai Indians, five-time winners, are languishing at the bottom of the table for the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), with only three wins in 13 games this season. While no one expected the most successful franchise in IPL history to have such a disastrous season, many people blamed MI’s auction strategy, which included not keeping Hardik Pandya and splashing big on players like Ishan Kishan, Tim David (who they later dropped due to limited opportunities), and an unavailable Jofra Archer (which was common knowledge among all franchises).
The injury-prone English fast remained a feasible long-term investment, forming a mouth-watering pace duo with Jasprit Bumrah. MI will be hoping that their questionable choice to splurge on Jofra Archer pays off next season now that the season is almost over. However, Archer has been dealt yet another serious blow, as he has been ruled out of the English season for 2022 due to a stress fracture.
Despite the fact that the following season is a long way off, Archer could be ruled out again, having not played competitive cricket since May 2021 and struggling to recover from his frequent injury troubles, with this newest setback sidelining him for yet another long amount of time.
MI is in a far from ideal scenario to avoid a repetition of this season and should begin looking for capable successors immediately, which could be difficult considering Archer’s skill set and the amount of money invested in the 27-year-old.
While it remains to be seen what happens with Archer, here are a few players who can be brought in as replacements for the speedster.
Number 1. Sam Curran
The youthful all-rounder was not included in the 2022 auction since he was still recovering from a back issue that ruled him out of the 2021 T20 World Cup as well. Sam Curran, a multi-dimensional cricketer with IPL experience, maybe a savvy and intelligent substitute for his English counterpart.
Curran, 23, is predominantly a new-ball bowler who relies on line and length for wickets and has also been employed, occasionally successfully, in the death overs in the past.
His batting and fielding abilities add to his credentials, and MI could look to sign him to help balance their lineup and alleviate their middle-order woes, which have been exacerbated by the underperformance of Kieron Pollard and the departure of the Pandya brothers.
Number 2. Mitchell Starc
Only a potential Bumrah-Starc collaboration would be better for MI than a Bumrah-Archer pairing. The Australian superstar, largely regarded as one of the top white-ball bowlers in the game right now, withdrew from the 2022 IPL mega auction for the second time.
He will most likely be a part of the action next season, though nothing is certain. Starc is certainly the most capable and comparable substitute for Archer, and any IPL franchise, particularly MI, should consider him to fill the void left by Archer.
Mitchell Starc is the whole package, with the ability to swing the bowl, bowl in the mid-150s, take wickets with the new ball, and keep runs down at the death. He might be the topic of a bidding war. As a result, MI will need a lot of luck and a lot of money to land him.
Number 3. Kane Richardson
Kane Richardson, another Australian death bowling specialist, was upset when he was left unsold in the 2022 auction, and stated that his absence from RCB due to Covid worries the previous season (which was ultimately suspended) may have played a role.
Richardson, a master of the old bowl, is recognized for his cutters and tempo and length variations. With Bumrah unable to receive any support from the other end, he might be the answer to MI’s well-documented death bowling problems this season.
Regardless of Archer’s fitness situation, the seasoned 31-year-old might be the perfect substitute in terms of cost, likely to go for less than Starc and Curran. He should surely be on the radar for MI next season as he would be a welcome addition to a faltering bowling lineup.