IPL 2021: In Ben Stokes’ Absence, Rajasthan Royals Get Chris Morris, David Miller Boost
When Chris Morris fetched a whopping 17.5 Crores in IPL 2021 auctions, many of his critics frowned at Rajasthan Royals’ management. Some of them questioned the validity of this decision. ‘Is he even worth it’ were the murmurs among the scouts, journalists and fans. And their question did make a lot of sense. Look at Morris’ IPL 2020 numbers where he turned up for RCB. Played nine games, scored just 34 runs. Average was as low as 8.50. The South African wasn’t a bad batsman but does number lie? Well cut to April 15, 2021 and it seems they certainly do.
At Wankhede Stadium, the Royals were in a big trouble. Chasing 148, they were 42/5. To make matters worse their number one all-rounder Ben Stokes was also out injured. If there ever was a time for Morris to prove his detractors wrong, this was it. And boy, didn’t he deliver? A quick-fire 36 off just 18 balls. Strike rate of 200! Attack is the best form of defence they said, Morris came out attacking. And talking about attack, how can one forget David Miller, his South Africa colleague. Miller can pull the rug off the opposition’s feet if he is given a free run. Australia will vouch for it. Back in October 2016, he slammed an insane 118 off just 79 balls and the Aussie were at the receiving end. South Africa chased down a mammoth target of 372 with four balls to spare!
Miller’s strong point as a batsman is his free swing. He can remain effortlessly orthodox and can be equally explosive. Cut to IPL and you wonder why this South Africa hasn’t made that big in this multi-million dollar event. He did have some fine knocks under his belt for KXIP (King’s Eleven Punjab) but even then he wasn’t a regular in RR playing eleven. In IPL 2020, he featured in just one game. It seemed that the trend will continue but his Wankhede heroics may now change his fortune. Walking into bat after the fall of captain Sanju Samson, Miller initiated the rescue act. He didn’t go for his shots right from the word ‘go.’ Paced his innings well, finding odd boundaries and complementing it with quick singles. And then came the push. His 62 off 43 balls was a typical t20 innings tailor-made to put RR on victory path.
In Ben Stokes’ absence, Chris Morris stepping up is always a good sign for RR. But Miller coming among the runs is an added bonus. A bonus which the Royals would like to have in the coming games.