Steve Smith, who shared a 121-run second-wicket stand with wicket-keeper Sanju Samson after opening the innings, hinted Jos Buttler will take his place at the top of the order when he returns for their next game.
Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith heaped rich praise on Jofra Archer, saying the England pacer loves his batting by working hard at the nets. Steve Smith pointed out that his tail-ender played a game-changing innings in their 16-run win over CSK as they got their IPL 2020 campaign off to a flier.
Steve Smith: Jofra Archer Loves Batting And Played An Incredible Innings
Jofra Archer’s final over assault of CSK pacer Lungi Ngidi made all the difference in the end as MS Dhoni’s men found the target of 217 a bit too high. CSK pulled things back after a superb Rajasthan Royals start and were looking set to restrict them to less than 200.
However, Jofra Archer went on a six-hitting spree in Lungi Ngidi’s final over which also saw a couple of no-balls as well. Jofra Archer hit as many as four sixes in just two legal deliveries, as RR took to their total to 216, adding 30 runs in the final over. He scored 27 runs from only eight balls.
Steve Smith, speaking to the press after RR’s season-opening win, revealed Jofra Archer had requested the Australian premier batsman 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.
“Jofra, at the backend was absolutely amazing. Nice start to the tournament.”
Steve Smith opened the batting with youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal in the absence of Jos Buttler, who was having an extended quarantine period in the UAE after arriving later with his parents from England after completion of bilateral series against Australia for IPL 2020. As Yashasvi Jaiswal departed early scoring only 6 runs, Steve Smith joined hands with Sanju Samson, who came in at No. 3 and both contributed by scoring half-centuries.
Steve Smith: Jos Buttler Has An Incredible Record Opening
The duo didn’t disappoint as both Steve Smith and Sanju Samson took apart the CSK bowlers. Sanju Samson particularly was hitting sixes at will while Steve Smith was happy playing second fiddle to him. After the young wicketkeeper departed for a well made 32-ball 74 which included as many as nine sixes, Steve Smith carried on the rampage and made 69 from 47 balls.
Steve Smith though has hinted that Jos Buttler will take the opener’s spot when he returns for the next game. Notably, the England wicketkeeper single-handedly took RR to the play-offs in 2018, smashing 548 runs. Last year, Jos Buttler had scored 311 runs in just 8 matches. He was at his best in 2018 though scoring at an average of 54.80.
“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 opening match against CSK, RR will next face Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on September 24.