IPL 2021: Chris Morris ready to spearhead RR pace attack in Jofra Archer’s absence

Morris became the most expensive buy in the IPL auction history last month.

Chris Morris | IPL/BCCIAs if the pressure of a hefty price tag was not enough, South African all-rounder Chris Morris will now have to lead the Rajasthan Royals (RR) pace attack in the absence of injured Jofra Archer in the 2021 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 9.

However, Morris remains unperturbed by it as he feels his role doesn't change in the team.

In a major blow for the Royals, pace spearhead Archer has been ruled out of the initial phase of the tournament due to an elbow injury he sustained during the recently concluded series against India.

"Every single team that I have played in the IPL, my role has been with the new ball and at the death. That doesn't really change. I have always had fast bowlers in the team and I've been there supporting act," Morris said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday (March 30).

"It won't be a new role if I am leading an attack, won't be new if I am supporting. There is a little bit of responsibility when it comes to leading the attack. But like I said it wouldn't be able to be alien to me," he added.

Last month, Morris became the costliest foreign buy ever as RR bought him for INR 16.25 crore at the IPL 2021 auction.

Talking about the pressure that comes with a whopping price tag, Morris said: "I think it's natural to have a little bit of pressure when something like that has happened. I'd be lying to you if there wasn't any pressure but fortunately enough in the past, I have been coming in with quite a big price tag on my head."

"At the end of the day, you need to perform, no matter what the price tag is."

Morris also explained how his role in the team is different from that of fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes.

"I think we have got different roles, Stokes opens the batting. He is one of the best in the world if not the best. My role is to finish off games with the bat which I hope I can do more of this year.

"With the ball it's different I think he bowled a lot less in the IPL last year than he did in the previous years. But the guy has got the magic touch when it comes to cricket. So, you know, if we feeding off each other in our different roles on the team, you know, I think we could be quite an interesting duo to come up against," he said.

The Royals have appointed Sanju Samson as the captain for IPL 2021 and Morris feels the former will have a lot to offer while leading the side.

"I'm obviously quite lucky I've got a very good relationship with Sanju, I have batted with him at Rajasthan and in Delhi. I don't see him as a young captain I see him as a seriously good cricket player, who's got a great cricket brain.

"For a guy who can keep wickets and field, he's seen different angles, different approaches from the back and the side. So, you know, I'm sure he's got some good ideas, I'm sure he's got some interesting things that we can discuss when it comes to tactics and to what the plans are."

Morris termed IPL as the second biggest tournament this year and expressed his keenness to win it with the Royals.

"Whether T20 World Cup or not it's going to be a very important season. Your main focus is to win the IPL. It's the second biggest trophy, if not the biggest in the year without a World Cup, you want to win as a domestic cricketer."

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 30 Mar, 2021

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