Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith heaped rich praise on Jofra Archer, saying the England pacer loves his batting and works hard on his game at the nets. Smith pointed out that his tail-ender played a game-changing innings in their 16-run win over Chennai Super Kings as they got their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign off to a fine start.
Archer went on a six-hitting spree in Ngidi’s final over which was marred by a couple of no balls. After hitting 4 sixes in just 2 legal deliveries, RR took to their total to 216, adding 30 runs in the final over.
Smith, speaking to the press after RR’s season-opening win, revealed Archer had requested him to leave the nets and let him have a go with the bat in the lead up to the CSK clash.
“Jofra loves his batting. He actually kicked me out of the nets yesterday, said I was in there for too long and asked me to give him a hit,” Smith said.
“He came in and played an incredible innings tonight. I think he hit 4 of his 1st 5 balls for six which is serious going at the start of your innings. He is a terrific player for us, and did well with the ball as well.
Steve Smith opened the batting with Yashasvi Jaiswal in the absence of Jos Buttler, who was having an extended quarantine in the UAE after arriving with his parents from England for IPL 2020.
Smith though has hinted that Buttler will take the opener’s spot when he returns for the next game. Notably, the England wicketkeeper-batsman single-handedly took RR to the play-offs in 2018, smashing 548 runs. Last year, Buttler had scored 311 runs in just 8 matches.
“We will wait and see, it gives us options, doesn’t it? Jos has an incredible record at the top, I dare say he will probably slot back in there. That gives us options, that’s for sure,” Smith said.
Having won their opener, RR will next face Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on Thursday, September 24.