The World Cup final took all our breaths away. The three Rajasthan Royals men, Buttler, Stokes and Archer ensured that England walked away with the title. After all the mayhem, cricket resumed in both domestic and international capacity for our Royals around the world. Many of these Royals continued to shine after what was a taxing month or so of cricket.
Ben Stokes: 50, 4 wickets, 1st Ashes Test
Ben Stokes the all-rounder was up and running for England once again. His first call of duty was wit the ball during Australia’s first innings. Stokesy managed to pick up just one wicket. When England’s turn to bat came, Stokes walked in with England on 194/4, slightly under pressure. He strung a handy partnership with centurion Burns, and brought up his fifty on Day 3 of the first Ashes Test.
Stokes then bowled a fiery spell in Australia’s second innings. He hit his Rajasthan Royals skipper, Steve Smith on his helmet with a bouncer. Stokes was full of concern after the incident, but thankfully, Smith was alright. The burly all-rounder captured the wickets of Khawaja, Head and Wade.
Oshane Thomas: 2/27 vs India, 2nd T20I
Oshane Thomas is known to bowl the heavy ball. During the second T20I in Miami, Oshane got two important wickets for West Indies. He got rid of the dangerous-looking Rohit Sharma in the 14th over. In his next over, the innings’ 16th, Oshane dismissed Pant cheaply. He got two of the big six-hitters in the Indian line-up and that helped the Windies restrict them to just 167 in the 20 overs.
Krishnappa Gowtham: 5/17 vs West Indies A
Gowtham had a quiet outing in the first game for India A on their West Indies tour. He claimed just the sole wicket in the first innings of the second game, but pretty much covered it all up with a magnificent display of off-spin bowling in the second innings.
Gowtham brought in a procession to end the West Indies A innings in no time. He claimed the last 5 wickets, one of them being the lone batsman resisting India A, Sunil Ambris. Gowtham finished with 5/17 in just 7.5 overs.
Liam Livingstone: 70 vs Durham, 3/21 vs Worcestershire; Vitality Blast
Liam Livingstone is having a blast in the Vitality Blast. Making his return for Lancashire, after an injury, Livingstone came back all guns blazing with both bat and ball. In the four games he has played so far, Liam has bludgeoned 119 runs and has claimed 7 wickets in three innings.
Against Durham, Livingstone played a wide array of gorgeous strokes. He went on to notch up 70 runs off 48 balls. He smashed 6 fours and 3 sixes. The knock included some audacious strokes deep into the stands and some innovative ones too.
Against Worcestershire, Livingstone came on to bowl and dismissed the threatening Martin Guptill for 37. He then dissected their middle-order by picking two more wickets. Liam has looked in devastating form and has been a key cog in Lancashire’s wheel this season.
Jofra Archer: 2/21 vs Surrey, 6/27 and 108 for Sussex 2nd XI
Strangely, after playing out the double tie in the World Cup final, Archer’s next game also turned out to be a tie. Archer dismissed two top Surrey batsmen in Aaron Finch and Ollie Pope. Archer is preparing for the Ashes. He couldn’t play in the first Test, but with Anderson ruled out of the second, he could make his debut in the second Test at Lord’s.
Playing for Sussex’ second XI, Archer was unstoppable as he claimed a six-wicket haul, bowling with searing pace. He followed it up with a flamboyant 108 when he got his turn to bat. Archer is getting ready for the Ashes and with his tail and confidence up, the Aussies could face a tough challenge.
Ish Sodhi: 5/8 vs Tigers, GLT20
Ish Sodhi couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Globat T20 career than this. Playing for the Wolves, Sodhi stormed the Tigers by dismantling their middle order. They couldn’t recover from there and fell apart for just 101. Sodhi was an instant hit after the fiery start. He went on to claim six more wickets In the league and has turned into a mainstay in the Wolves’ spin attack.
The Royals have a lot of cricket in store for them this month. Smith is in piping hot form, while Stokes is among the runs and wickets. It’s just a matter of time before Buttler and Archer get into the act. In the domestic circuit, our Indian players and Liam Livingstone are looking very promising, and we could be in for many more Royal performances.