The fairytale love-affair of Chris Morris and the IPL

The talismanic all-rounder has bagged an exorbitantly high contract of 16.25 crores and will be plying his trade for Rajasthan Royals. But his love story with the IPL is of greater weightage. Inspite of the myriad of injuries he has encountered, Morris is still a hot-pick for the IPL franchise.

Sayanta Sengupta Author

Updated - 20 February 2021 10:57 pm

South Africa have time after time produced some sensational all-rounders with a rich cricketing prowess. Be it Hansie Cronje, Lance Klusener or Jacques Kallis, the all-rounders have always left an indelible impression on their respective nations and other teams for whom they have played in their careers. Chris Morris is another fiery name in that distinguished list. The Proteas all-rounder has had a serious love-affair with the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) and has yet again bagged a mouth-watering contract, worth a whopping 16.5 crores.

The courtship period of this affair dates back to 2013. Morris was bought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for a hefty amount of 3.2 crores. CSK reached the finals that year and Morris was a vital cog in that star-studded team. He went on to take 15 wickets and instantly made an impression. South Africans really gel along well with their respective IPL teams. For instance, Jacques Kallis in Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), ABD Villiers in Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Morne Morkel in KKR were a great hit among the fans.

But there was a twist in this incredibly-woven love story. Morris did not play in the 2014 edition. He went back under the hammer and was picked up by his present team, Rajasthan Royals (RR) for a decent sum of 1.4 crores. The man who has an overall S/R of 157.87 in IPL, regularly bowled at an express pace and had an economy of 7.40 in the 2015 season.

Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) acquired the services of Morris in 2016 after they dished out an exorbitant amount of 7 crores for the all-rounder. Morris was a superstar that season as he plundered 195 runs and also took 13 wickets. But the main highlight of the season was his record-defying 82 off just 32 deliveries that set the Feroz Shah Kotla on fire.

But as every love story has its fair share of pros and cons, in 2018 and 2019 the cons hogged the limelight. Morris’s bowling went for a toss and he conceded a lot of runs which prompted the Delhi franchise to release him just before the 2020 auctions. RCB, led by superstar Virat Kohli captured him for a huge sum of 9 crores.

It is imperative to note that Chris Morris has had a long barrage of injuries up his sleeve. He has had a back injury, an ankle surgery and in 2020 he had a side strain. He played only 9 games for the RCB franchise, prompting the RCB team-management to release him. This was mostly because of his high price and the fact that his fitness was a serious concern. RCB even bid for the Proteas all-rounder in the 2021 auction but backed off, after a while.

Presently, Morris bagged by Rajasthan would encounter a déjà vu situation as he had represented the franchise before in 2015 also. If fitness is on his side, the explosive all-rounder would bowl in tandem with English speedster Jofra Archer. Rajasthan Royals pace attack is in seriously good hands and the pair can also form a deadly-duo with the bat down the order. The duo will prove to be a handful to deal with for the opposition bowlers with their hard-hitting at the death.