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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Abhishek, Fraser-McGurk In My Dream IPL XI

Abhishek, Fraser-McGurk In My Dream IPL XI

By HARISH KOTIAN
May 30, 2024 09:50 IST
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IPL 2024 saw several stars leave their mark.

The usual suspects like Virat Kohli, Sunil Narine and Jasprit Bumrah lived up to expectations, while a new crop of youngsters came to the fore in Abhishek Sharma, Jake Fraser-McGurk and Harshit Rana.

KKR rode on Narine's dominance with the bat to clinch their third IPL title while Kohli enjoyed one of his best seasons for RCB and Bumrah was consistent as ever with the ball.

Young Abhishek stole the show with his belligerent knocks for runners up Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Fraser-McGurk emerged a surprise batting hero for Delhi Capitals and Rana was one of KKR's best bowlers throughout the IPL.

My IPL Dream XI:

 

Abhishek Sharma

Abhishek Sharma emerged as the new young star of Indian cricket with his belligerent batting for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024.

He formed a lethal partnership with Travis Head as the two SRH openers demolished every bowling attack that came their way to produce a never-seen-before exhibition of aggressive strokeplay in the IPL.

Abhishek, 23, smashed 484 runs in 16 games at a strike rate of 204, with three fifties. He is the first batter in the IPL to tally 400-plus runs without facing more than 30 balls in an innings in the entire IPL. He also hit the most sixes in IPL -- 42.

Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine's career got a new lease of life in IPL 2024.

Gautam Gambhir taking over as KKR mentor worked wonders for Narine as the West Indian was promoted to the opener's role, where he made a telling difference for the Knight Riders.

The left-hander smashed 488 runs in 14 games -- his best in 13 IPL seasons -- at a strike rate of 180 with some sensational knocks at the top of the order.

Narine bagged his maiden IPL century and also his first in T20 cricket, with a match-winning 109 from 56 balls against the Rajasthan Royals.

The last time Narine had made a similar impact with the bat was in IPL 2018, when he had also opened the batting to score 357 runs at a strike rate of 189.

Even though the Impact Player has reduced the role of all-rounders, Narine continued to be a force with the ball too, picking up 17 wickets at an economy rate of 6.69 -- the best after Bumrah among the bowlers with three or more wickets.

Jake Fraser-McGurk

Jake Fraser-McGurk made an instant impact in his debut IPL season.

The 22 year old Australian made everyone take notice of his batting prowess with some unbelievable knocks for the Delhi Capitals.

In his debut match, the DC opener hammered 55 from 35 balls against the Lucknow Super Giants and there was no looking back after that great start.

He played another incredible innings of 84 from 27 balls against the Mumbai Indians, while hitting quickfire fifties against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals.

Fraser-McGurk holds the record for the fastest fifty this season, having twice got to the half-century mark from 15 balls against SRH and Mumbai Indians in a span of seven days.

He won the award for the highest strike rate in IPL 2024, hitting 330 runs in nine games at a strike rate of 234.

Virat Kohli

Kohli silenced all his critics in grand style.

Kohli's strike rate was the subject of many debates during the first few weeks of IPL 2024, but the RCB maestro let his bat do the talking.

Kohli warmed up nicely for the T20 World Cup as he finished as the top run-getter of IPL 2024 with 741 runs in 15 games. His strike rate of 154 for the season was best of his IPL career since 2008.

Courtesy of Kohli, RCB made a magical comeback after a horror start, winning six games in a row to advance to the play-offs where they were beaten by Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator match.

It was an amazing show of consistency from Kohli, who hit an unbeaten century against the Royals along with five fifties, while failing for a single digit score just once in the tournament.

Travis Head

Travis Head made a grand comeback to the IPL.

Playing after a long gap of seven years, Head set the tone for SRH's dazzling batting displays in IPL 2024. He started off on the right note, hammering 62 from 24 balls in SRH's opening game against the Mumbai Indians.

He slammed the fastest century of IPL 2024 when he raced to the landmark from 39 balls against RCB.

Courtesy of Head and Abhishek's blazing opening stands, SRH made it to the play-offs for the first time in four years.

Head was the fourth highest run-getter in IPL 2024, with 567 runs at a strike rate of 191, with four fifties and a century. Three of his fifties came under 20 balls, twice getting there in 16 balls against DC and LSG while he hit a 18-ball 50 against MI.

Nitish Kumar Reddy

Sunrisers Hyderabad youngster Nitish Kumar Reddy enjoyed a dream debut season.

The 21 year old scored 303 runs in 13 games a strike rate of 142.92, with two fifties, to cement his place as one of the most dependable batters in the SRH middle order.

He also made a contribution with the ball, picking up three wickets, to win the Emerging Player award for IPL 2024.

Nicholas Pooran

Nicholas Pooran was a dominant force with the bat for Lucknow Super Giants.

Pooran time and again came to LSG's rescue with some entertaining cameos lower down the order. The West Indian left-hander finished off the IPL in grand style with three superb knocks -- 48 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad, 61 from 27 balls against Delhi Capitals and 75 from 29 balls against Mumbai Indians.

Pooran tallied 499 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 178, hitting 36 sixes and 35 fives.

Varun Chakravarthy

Varun Chakravarthy played a major role with the ball in KKR's IPL triumph.

Chakravarthy was the best spinner on show in IPL 2024, with 21 wickets from 15 games at an economy rate of eight -- the second most wickets overall by any bowler this season.

Except for a couple of games in which he went for runs, Chakravarthy was consistent right through the tournament as he not only picked up wickets but also checked the flow of runs in the middle overs.

He would consider himself unlucky not to have made it to India's T20 World Cup but helping KKR win their first IPL title in 10 years would have been quite satisfying.

Jasprit Bumrah

In a tournament dominated by the batters, Bumrah stood out with his economy rate of 6.48 -- the best among the bowlers who had taken two or more wickets.

Bumrah's haul of 20 wickets from 13 games was the only bright spot in Mumbai Indians's horror campaign in which they managed just four wins from 14 games.

Bumrah, who missed last year's IPL with injury, claimed a five wicket against RCB, while picking up three wicket hauls in three games as he proved to be a potent force with the ball at different stages of the game -- including the new ball, middle overs and the death overs.

Who can forget his deadly yorkers to clean up Wriddhiman Saha, Prithvi Shaw and Rilee Rossouw?

Thangarasu Natarajan

Thangarasu Natarajan was close on Bumrah's heels with 19 wickets from 14 games.

The SRH left-arm pacer excelled on the flat pitches at his home ground -- the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium in Hyderabad -- with his clever variations including the slower balls and bouncers.

Such was Natarajan's consistency that he went wicketless in only three games out of the 14 played.

Harshit Rana

Harshit Rana stole the show with an excellent showing with the ball for champions KKR.

Playing in his third IPL season, pace bowler Rana enjoyed a dream season with the ball as he took 19 wickets from 13 games.

He came to the fore at the very end with splendid performances in the Qualifier 1 match and the final, both against SRH.

Rana made an important contribution in the final as he claimed the important wickets of Nitish Kumar Reddy and the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen with a well-disguised slower ball.

Photographs: BCCI

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com

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