Jofra Archer: I would lose a game before I resort to Mankading

The Rajasthan Royals all-rounder says R. Ashwin’s controversial run-out of Jos Buttler has made his team stronger.

Rajasthan Royals is like family, says Jofra Archer.   -  R. Ragu

Long before Chris Jordan discovered him and took him along to Sussex to make him an instant star, Jofra Archer was enamoured by the Indian Premier League (IPL). He wished to play in it, but had no clue how.

He would have settled for less than the ₹7.2 crore that Rajasthan Royals spent on him. But he more than justified his price in his maiden season and is leading his team’s attack this year as well.

The Barbados-born cricketer, who would soon qualify to play for England, is one of the world’s most exciting pace-bowling all-rounders. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with the 24-year-old.

Q: How do you think the IPL is different from other competitions?

A: Well, in other tournaments I have played, half of the team is really good, but here anyone in the team can win you matches. Mohammad Nabi and Faf du Plessis are not even in their teams [regularly].

What do you like about Rajasthan Royals?

It is a family really. They are very welcoming. They even welcome my girlfriend as well.

How tough was the Ashwin-Buttler incident for the team?

That was probably our game to win. Obviously that (R. Ashwin running out Jos Buttler for backing up too far) changed the momentum of the game. It was hard for the new batter to start and to keep up with the rate as well. It was strategic what Ashwin did. Personally I wouldn’t do that; I would lose a game before I resort to that. You are setting an example for the kids. I would understand if it was a quarterfinal, semifinal or final, but this was the first match. There is no reason why you should try that hard to win a group game. It has happened and gone. It has only made our team stronger.

The other day you picked Jasprit Bumrah, Rashid Khan and yourself as the world’s best T20 bowlers...

That is my opinion, but I don’t know if it has come across as such. Bumrah’s action is a bit awkward, so you don’t see his slower balls. He can trick you with pace. He is a lot quicker than he looks. I faced him last year against Mumbai. I think I didn’t hit the ball; the ball hit my bat. Rashid Khan was with us at Sussex at last year. It is hard to pick him even when he is in your team. It is a lot harder when you play against him. Last season, he was with us. It is hard to pick him even when he is in your team. So it is [a] lot harder when you play against him. I guess I am pretty much like Bumrah, with my yorkers and slower balls.

R. Ashwin (second from left) has a word with Jos Buttler after running him out. Photo: AFP   -  AFP


Talking of fast yorkers, you like watching videos of Waqar Younis.

Yes, I watched a few of his spells in Tests against England. He was swinging both ways and no one could touch him.

Other bowlers you admire?

Curtly Ambrose and Michael Holding.

The toughest batsman you have bowled to?

Jos Buttler. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shreyas Iyer are difficult, too.

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