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IPL 2018

Dialled-in Archer fires on IPL debut

23 April 2018

England hopeful stars bowls Rajasthan to victory in maiden IPL outing as he continues his extended route to an international berth

Jofra Archer's status as the game's hottest uncapped commodity was enhanced in a starring Indian Premier League debut as the pace sensation continues his long road to international cricket.

The 23-year-old speedster, who was bought for a whopping A$1.4 million (INR 7.2 crore) in the IPL auction earlier this year, justified his exorbitant price tag with a player-of-the-match swag of 3-22 in the Rajasthan Royals' win over the Mumbai Indians on Sunday.

Virtually unknown outside of the English county circuity and his native Barbados when the Hobart Hurricanes snapped him up as a last-minute replacement for last summer’s KFC Big Bash League, Archer's eye-catching efforts have seen him become one of the most in-demand T20 cricketers in the world.

And that’s exactly what he looks set to remain as for at least another four years despite harbouring hopes of playing – and seemingly possessing the capability of thriving in – Test cricket.

Having all but turned his back on the West Indies, Archer won't be eligible to play for England until 2022 as he completes the United Kingdom's seven-year residency period.

Jumping Jofra pulls down classic catch

"If I can go really well over here it's a good gauge to see where I'm at (both) personally and cricket-wise," Archer told Sky Sports ahead of his IPL debut.

"I am still qualifying (to play for England) so if I can do this and be as good in this (as he has been elsewhere) then hopefully if I do play international cricket, I will be ready and prepared."

Speaking earlier this month, he added: "If I'd have got half of the money I got, I'd have still been very happy. 

"I just wanted to play in the IPL, the money is just a bonus. 

"I'm most looking forward to bowling at the international players – it will be a gauge to see where I'm at."

Having missed Rajasthan's first five matches due to injury, Archer slotted in for the Royals at Australian Ben Laughlin's expense and left Mumbai's innings in tatters with three wickets in the penultimate over.

The right-armer also delivered two of the five fastest balls bowled in the tournament so far, with he and Australia T20 paceman Billy Stanlake the only bowlers to have topped 149kph.

Chennai hold on to steal a final-ball thriller

"I'm happy to see him back," Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane said. "His spell was incredible.

"Jofra can bowl 140-plus. His pace, his accuracy was fantastic. The way he's thinking, he's always thinking about wickets."

With no international cricket on the horizon, Archer looks set to continue to ply his trade with the Jason Gillespie-coached Sussex and in domestic T20 leagues around the globe.

Archer will return to Australia next summer having signed on with the Hurricanes for the next two BBL seasons on the back of his 16-wicket maiden campaign.

But he insists the longest format remains his ultimate ambition.

"I personally want to play Test cricket," Archer said. "It's the pinnacle, a great place to showcase your skills and really rate yourself. 

"It was a childhood dream, that's the whole reason why I started playing cricket."

Australian viewers can watch the 2018 season of the IPL exclusively on Fox Sports

Filed Under

Rajasthan Royals

Jofra Archer

IPL 2018