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Feature

Remember the names - here are the breakout boys from IPL 2024

Like every IPL season, this one too had players grabbing their opportunities and making a name

Ashish Pant
27-May-2024
Phil Salt hit the first ball of the match for a six, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2024, Kolkata, May 11, 2024

Phil Salt's approach in the powerplay and the middle overs was pretty much the same  •  BCCI

The IPL catchline is "where talent meets opportunity", and every season, we get new breakout stars, who attract a lot of the attention despite the presence of the bigger names. Here are some of them from IPL 2024.

Phil Salt

Mat 12 | Runs 435 | SR 182.00 | 50s 4
Phil Salt went unsold at the auction and might not even have been part of IPL 2024 had Jason Roy not pulled out of his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) gig. Along with Sunil Narine at the top, Salt was responsible for getting KKR off to blazing starts. He hit 296 of his 435 runs inside the powerplay, at a strike rate of 185.00. His approach didn't change much in the middle overs, where he struck at 175.94. Salt finished the season as KKR's second-highest run-getter and played a critical role in taking them to the playoffs as the top team in the league stage.

Mayank Yadav

Mat 4 | Wickets 7 | Balls/wicket 10.4 | Econ 6.98
Mayank Yadav played just four games this season, but it was enough to show what an asset he can be for Indian cricket. He kickstarted his IPL journey with a 147kph delivery against Punjab Kings (Punjab Kings). By his third ball, he had already touched the 150kph mark. And in his second over, he had touched 155.8kph on the speed gun. Mayank, 21, picked up 3 for 27 in his first game, and then 3 for 14 in his second against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), taking home the Player-of-the-Match award both times. An injury sidelined him for the majority of the season after that. Mayank just bowled 12.1 overs in the tournament, but he sure set the pulse racing. Enough to earn himself a fast bowlers' contract from the BCCI.

Tristan Stubbs

Mat 14 | Runs 378 | SR 190.90 | 50s 3
After playing just four matches across two seasons for Mumbai Indians (MI), 23-year-old Tristan Stubbs was picked up by Delhi Capitals (DC) at the auction and became their designated finisher straightaway. Stubbs was DC's second-highest run-getter in IPL 2024, smashing 378 at a strike rate of 190.90 while averaging 54.00.
The newest version of the 360-degree player, Stubbs found runs in all corners of the ground, and with power. He was as brutal on the pull or slog sweep as on the cover drive or reverse and as proficient against pace (strike rate of 198.30) as against spin (180.00).
Stubbs finished with a death-overs strike rate of 297.33 - the highest for any batter with a minimum of 100 runs in an IPL season. Between overs 17 and 20, Stubbs faced a total of 75 balls, of which only two were dots.

Harshit Rana

Mat 13 | Wickets 19 | Balls/wicket 13.3 | Econ 9.08
Harshit Rana played two games in 2022 and six in 2023, hardly making an impact. But he shone bright this season for KKR. He bowled in crunch situations, picked up wickets consistently, and maintained a good economy rate. And it's not just in one phase where Rana had an impact. Of his 19 wickets, four were in the powerplay, nine in the middle overs, and six at the death, all while maintaining an economy rate under 10. He's also not one to keep quiet after taking a wicket, which also got him into trouble when he was handed a one-match suspension and was fined 100% of his match fees for a code of conduct breach.
Rana, 22, finished the season as KKR's joint-second-highest wicket-taker and joint-fourth-highest in the overall list. His 2 for 24 in the final was key in KKR winning the IPL title for the third time.

Jake Fraser-McGurk

Mat 9 | Runs 330 | SR 234.04 | 50s 4
Rarely has a youngster made an impact on an IPL season as quickly as Jake Fraser-McGurk did this year. The 22-year-old was picked by DC two weeks into the season as a replacement for Lungi Ngidi, and he swiftly turned all eyes towards him. He faced all of 141 balls this season and still finished as DC's third-highest run-getter with 330 runs at a barely believable strike rate of 234.04.
Fraser-McGurk struck four fifties: two off 15 balls, one off 19, and his slowest coming off 31 balls - that was on IPL debut. He finished with a powerplay strike rate of 250.94, the highest for any batter to have played two overs or more in the phase.
A staggering 296 of Fraser-McGurk's 330 runs came in boundaries (32 fours and 28 sixes). "If I get ones and twos, it's only either because I've mis-hit it or maybe it's the last ball of the over," he said after his 27-ball 84 against MI. A boundary percentage of 89.70 is solid proof of that.

Shashank Singh

Mat 14 | Runs 354 | SR 164.65 | 50s 2
"Shashank Singh" had left Punjab Kings confused at the auction, but there were not doubts about his abilities once he got going in IPL 2024. One of the few bright sparks for PBKS, Shashank finished the season as their highest run-getter with 354 runs in 14 games, striking at 164.65. He first showed his finishing skills against SRH five days later with a 46 not out off 25 balls, only to see his team fall short by two runs. Shashank's finishing act of a 28-ball 68 not out against KKR was key to PBKS overhauling the highest-ever T20 target of 262.

Travis Head

Mat 15 | Runs 567 | SR 191.55 | 50s/100s 4/1
It's unusual to see someone who has been in the international circuit for eight years and has scored centuries in the WTC final and the ODI World Cup final on this list. But such has been Travis Head's IPL graph that 2024 was the first year where he truly broke through in this competition.
Before this, Head played two seasons in 2016 and 2017 with meagre returns. This year, along with Abhishek Sharma, he revolutionised powerplay batting. The highest run-getter for SRH, Head struck 567 runs this season at 191.55. Of these, 402 came in the first six overs at a strike rate of 208.29. No other batter scored more runs than Head in the phase and he didn't even start the season for SRH.
Head holds the record for three of the four fastest fifties by an SRH batter, while his century against RCB off 39 balls was the fourth-fastest in IPL history.

Abishek Porel

Mat 14 | Runs 327 | SR 159.51 | 50s 2
Abishek Porel came in as an Impact Sub at No. 9 in DC's first match of the season and scored an unbeaten 32 off ten balls. Since then, the 21-year-old became a regular in the DC set-up and made the most of the opportunities at the top of the order, even keeping Prithvi Shaw out of the team. Porel ended the season with two fifties in his last three innings - a 65 off 36 balls against RR and 58 off 33 balls against Lucknow Super Giants, both coming in winning causes. In all, Porel scored 327 runs in 12 innings, at an average of 32.70 and strike rate of 159.51, finishing as DC's fourth-highest run-scorer.

Nitish Kumar Reddy

Mat 13 | Runs 303 | SR 142.92 | 50s 2 | Wks 3
Nitish Reddy is only 21, but has shown enough proof of how good an all-round player he can be. In just his second innings of the season, he scored a crucial 37-ball 64 against PBKS, a game that SRH won by a narrow two-run margin. He also played a key role in SRH's one-run win in a group game against RR at home, scoring 76 not out off 42 balls in the first innings. In all, Reddy recorded 303 runs in 11 innings, averaging 33.66 and striking at 142.92. He also picked up three wickets with his medium pace.
The other thing on Reddy's side is that he is a terrific outfielder and supremely fit. In a video posted on the SRH social handles, he was seen racing against Glenn Phillips, and came up short only by a whisker.

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo