The Royals’ bidding team at the IPL 2018 Auction certainly seemed to have done their homework. With a reputation for detailed analysis of player stats based on the Moneyball principle, in the past they have achieved some spectacular successes, buying players from under the noses of their rivals who go on to great things in the IPL – yes Shane Watson circa 2008, we are talking about you! In Jofra Archer, purchased for 7.2 crore, they might have pulled another spectacular coup. Archer has rapidly become one of the most exciting rookie all rounders in English county cricket. Born in Barbados to an English father and Bajan mother, he wants to follow his Sussex teammate Chris Jordan into the England side. An impressive campaign for the Royals in 2018 might well help him achieve his dreams.
Archer is a smooth fast bowler with a high action capable of speeds in the mid-80s. He is also a dangerous lower-middle order batsman. After suffering a serious back injury early in his career, Jofra had to work his way up from club cricket in Sussex to the county second XI, before making his first-class bow in a touring match against Pakistan when he secured four wickets. Then he collected a five-wicket haul in a Royal London Cup match against Somerset and pundits started to take notice. He also wasted no time showing his potential with the bat, as he struck 72 batting at No 8 against Essex. In 2017, Jofra also had a good season with the ball, snaffling 61 wickets at an average of 25. When batting he averaged over 45. England is famous for what it’s archers achieved against the French in the Battle of Agincourt – don’t be surprised if Royals fans can bask in the achievements of this English Archer against their rivals in IPL 2018!