MUMBAI: Star Pacer Jofra Archer’s injury-related absence is a “heavy blow” to Rajasthan Royals, but their new cricket director, Kumar Kumar Sangakkara, is confident that the team’s young Indian fast bowlers will rise to the challenge in this year’s Indian Premier League become.
Archer, who played with a hand injury during the India series, is currently recovering from surgery and the length of his availability in the later installment is not yet clear.
“Sanju and I will both agree that it will be a major blow for us. Jofra is a very important part of our makeup and unfortunately it is the reality of not having him. We have to work on it and plan contingencies”, Sangakkara said PTI said during a virtual press conference on Sunday before the clash against Punjab Kings here on Monday.
However, the former Sri Lankan captain hopes that at some point Archer will be available and “play his part in the IPL”.
The weak link for royals over the years has been their Indian tempo attack, which saw the most seasoned name Jaydev Unadkat not exactly set the stage on fire.
Aside from Unadkat, they have his left arm, Chetan Sakariya, and the incredibly talented Kartik Tyagi.
“Inexperience can probably work for you and it could mean the opposition didn’t see you either. Fast bowling at the IPL is not an easy task and we saw that yesterday (Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings),” said Sangakkara, who has played a number of seasons in the IPL.
“Most of the wickets are good for hitting. So you have to be pretty skillful. We have Kartik Tyagi who did pretty well in patches last season, and this year we have new signings (Pacer), Kuldeep Yadav (Jr) and Chetan Sakariya, “he stated.
For Sangakkara it is essential that these young people are ready to understand the game situations and bowl accordingly.
“It’s about keeping them focused on their job and training and preparing them to carry out various deliveries, scenarios and fixtures for the opposition, while giving them confidence in their own strengths.”
Royals skipper Sanju Samson has easily disappeared from the radar for the national team after not even seizing a single opportunity.
However, Sangakkara believes that both the captain and Rahul Tewatia, who was recently on the Indian squad for the T20 series against England, could be national team regulars if they can trust their skills a little more.
“Pressure is always there. Whether Sanju or Rahul, in reality they will tell you that expectations and pressure will always be there. Everyone has different coping mechanisms to deal with. The focus is on staying in the moment,” he said.
“It is very important to have these great ambitions to play international cricket regularly and both Sanju and Rahul are very capable of not only being regulars but also great, outstanding performers on the international stage.”
The eloquent former glove maker wants each of his 11 players to be “problem solvers” who can think on their feet and help the skipper.
“… that helps Skipper Sanju a lot on the field when people are wondering what’s going on (game situation) and it also creates a lot of confidence in the unit,” he added.