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Feature

IPL 2024: Kohli, Narine, Bumrah headline ESPNcricinfo's team of the tournament

Find out who else makes the final XI - and the impact list - based on Smart Stats

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
27-May-2024
Virat Kohli brought up his half-century off 32 balls, Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru, IPL 2024, Dharamsala, May 9, 2024

Virat Kohli had another 700-plus run-season  •  BCCI

As the dust settles on IPL 2024, ESPNcricinfo picks the team of the tournament, including two Impact Subs. These selections are based on ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats impact numbers, while keeping in mind the overall team composition and the limit of four overseas players.
Inns: 15, Runs: 741, SR: 154.69, Impact rating: 47.53
Virat Kohli was the leading run-scorer of the season by far - no batter came within 150 runs of his 741. In IPL 2024, Kohli reinvented his T20 game with slog-sweeps and aggression against spin that hadn't been seen before. His strike rate of 154.69 is his highest in an IPL season, and his aggregate is his second-best ever. Despite the aggression and higher boundary intent, Kohli maintained amazing consistency: he went past 25 in 11 out of 15 innings. His batting rating of 47.53 was the best among batters who played at least ten games in the tournament.
Mat: 14, Runs: 488, SR: 180.74, Wkts: 17, ER: 6.69, Impact rating: 79.66
Sunil Narine had an all-round season like no other player in IPL history: he became the first to score over 450 runs at a 175-plus strike rate and take 15-plus wickets at a sub-seven economy rate. No wonder there was daylight between him and the next-best in terms of ESPNcricinfo's Impact Rating. At 79.66, Narine's overall Impact Rating for the tournament was almost 20 points more than the second-placed Jasprit Bumrah's 59.8. With Phil Salt, Narine forged a formidable opening partnership, adding 559 runs at a run rate of 12.46. Their six 50-plus stands were the most by any pair in the tournament. With the ball, he took 14 wickets in the middle overs at an economy rate of 6.15, and his bowling partnership with Varun Chakravarthy completely strangled opposition batters.
Inns: 15, Runs: 531, SR: 153.46, Impact rating: 36.12
Sanju Samson had a blockbuster 2024 season, scoring more runs, and more 50-plus scores, than in any previous season. To add to that, his strike rate of 153.46 is his second-best ever. Samson was sensational through the first 11 games of the season, scoring 471 runs at a strike rate of 163.54. As Rajasthan Royals' fortunes dipped, so did Samson's: his last four innings fetched only 60 runs at a strike rate of 103.44. That hurt RR in the playoffs, but despite that dip, Samson was by far the best at No. 3 - no batter came within 200 runs of his aggregate in that position.
Inns: 14, Runs: 573, SR: 149.21, Impact rating: 42.30
Along with Samson, Riyan Parag was the fulcrum of Rajasthan Royals' batting. He scored almost as many runs in IPL 2024 as he had in five previous seasons - 600 in 44 innings. What stood out about his approach was the way he adapted his game to the match situation, often shepherding the team after early wickets before turning it on later in the innings. Parag went past 40 in seven out of 14 innings, which illustrates his consistency - only Kohli, with nine, had more 40-plus scores. Parag was the top run-getter in the middle overs (seventh to 16th), scoring 431 runs at a strike rate of 146.59, and he scored 251 more runs at No. 4 than the next best, Rajat Patidar.
Inns: 14, Runs: 499, SR: 178.21, Impact rating: 45.63
Lucknow Super Giants' overall run rate was the second-lowest in the tournament, but Nicholas Pooran maintained his high standards despite being around batters who struggled to switch gears. This was his best IPL season both in terms of runs and strike rate, surpassing last year's 358 runs at 172.94. Unlike a few other batters whose performances flagged towards the end of the season, Pooran finished IPL 2024 with knocks of 48* (26), 61 (27) and 75 (29). He batted at the tough positions - Nos. 5 and 6 - and scored 467 of his 499 runs after the powerplay overs, at a strike rate of 173.60.
Inns: 13, Runs: 378, SR: 190.90, Impact rating: 32.50
Tristan Stubbs was sensational in the death overs: between the 17th and 20th, he scored 223 runs off just 75 balls - that's a strike rate of 297.33 - and was dismissed just once. Of all instances of batters scoring 100 or more runs in the last four overs in an IPL season - there are 144 such occurrences - no batter has achieved a higher strike rate. Stubbs struck a four every 2.2 deliveries, and a six every 4.17 balls in the death overs.
Mat: 14, Runs: 222, SR: 185.00, Wkts: 19, ER: 10.05, Impact rating: 55.85
Andre Russell faced only 120 deliveries in the season, thanks to the splendid batting form of the top order. But he did enough off those deliveries, striking at 185.00. His bigger contributions, however, came with the ball. Russell's tally of 19 wickets is his highest in an IPL season, and though his economy rate was relatively high, he compensated by dismissing some of the top batters. His 19 wickets included Suryakumar Yadav and Rajat Patidar (twice each), Abhishek Sharma, KL Rahul, Will Jacks and Dinesh Karthik. His 13 wickets in the middle overs was fourth-highest, next only to Varun, Yuzvendra Chahal and Narine.
Inns: 11, Wkts: 16, ER: 8.65, Impact rating: 52.65
In a team that had the most expensive bowling unit of IPL 2024, Kuldeep Yadav stood out like a beacon. Delhi Capitals (DC) leaked 9.95 runs per over, the worst among all teams this season, and five of the seven bowlers who bowled more than 20 overs went at over 9.5. In this bowling unit, Kuldeep took 16 wickets from 11 games, and was Rishabh Pant's go-to bowler. Thirteen of his 16 wickets came in the middle overs, at an economy of just 7.94. In two of the three matches that he didn't play, DC ended up conceding 272 (to KKR) and 234 (to Mumbai Indians). Kuldeep was second only to Bumrah in terms of bowling impact ratings this season.
Inns: 11, Wkts: 19, ER: 9.08, Impact rating: 42.91
Consistency - both within a match and across the season - was the hallmark of Harshit Rana's performances over the last two months. In a season where bowlers went for plenty, only three times did Rana leak more than ten runs an over, while four times he bowled at least three overs at under eight. He bowled more than 12 overs in each of the three phases, giving Shreyas Iyer the option of bowling him whenever required. He went at only 7.88 for his nine wickets in the middle overs, while he was excellent at the death too, conceding only 9.85 while taking six wickets.
Inns: 14, Wkts: 20, ER: 6.48, Impact rating: 59.38
Bumrah was the stand-out bowler of IPL 2024, which says something about his team, given that they finished at the bottom of the table. He was at the top of his game in each phase, and answered the captain's call almost each time the team were in a crisis. Bumrah went at less than eight an over in each phase, but was truly outstanding in the death overs, conceding only 90 runs from 89 balls (ER 6.06), and taking ten wickets. Among the 20 bowlers who bowled at least ten overs in this phase, the next best economy rate was 8.92, by Mohammed Siraj. Not surprisingly, Bumrah finished second on the MVP list, after Narine.
Inns: 10, Wkts: 13, ER: 8.18, Impact rating: 41.29
Twenty-two bowlers took more wickets than Sandeep Sharma did this season, but his high impact numbers are a recognition of the tough overs he bowled: 28 out of 38 overs were in the powerplay or at the death. His 15 powerplay overs went at only 7.6 - among the 25 bowlers with at least 12 overs in this phase, only two, Bumrah and Trent Boult, had better economy rates. At the death, his economy rate of 10.07 was bettered by only five bowlers out of 20 (with a ten-over cut-off).

Impact Subs

Inns: 13, Runs: 395, SR: 177.13, Impact rating: 35.82
Patidar entered the party late - his first four innings fetched only 50 runs at a strike rate of 108.7, but when he did find his range, Patidar made a huge difference to RCB's fortunes. In his last seven innings, he scored 286 runs at a strike rate of 195.89, and was RCB's enforcer in the middle overs, striking at 196.61 in this phase. In just this period alone, his batting impact rating was 54.24, second only to Jake Fraser-McGurk (with a five-match cut-off).
Inns: 14, Wkts: 21, ER: 8.04, Impact rating: 42.41
Like Patidar, Varun had a slow start to the season too - in his first two games he returned figures of 1 for 75 in six overs - but once he found his groove he didn't let go. His 21 wickets were the second-highest haul of the season, with 19 of those coming in the middle overs, the highest among all bowlers. He went at only 7.66 in that phase, and along with Narine played a huge role in KKR's trophy-winning season.

Those who narrowly missed out

Inns: 15, Runs: 567, SR: 191.55, Impact rating: 44.1
Travis Head had a sensational season, and with Abhishek Sharma, he formed the opening pair of IPL 2024. But a poor finish to the tournament let him down. In his last four innings, he scored three ducks, including one in the final. In a season where so many openers did superbly, there was space only for two.
Inns: 16, Runs: 484, SR: 204.21, Wkts: 2, ER: 7.28, Impact rating: 45.02
Abhishek was the other half of the opening pair of the tournament, and no batter topped his 42 sixes for the season. Yet, like Head, he went missing in the playoffs with the bat, scoring only 17 runs in his last three innings.
Inns: 15, Wkts: 16, ER: 8.30, Impact rating: 40.24
Boult was the champion of the powerplays yet again: he topped the wickets tally in this phase with 12, including seven in the first over of the innings. His economy rate of 7.02 in the first six overs was second only to Bumrah's, but there were other Indian options to fill the bowling slots in the XI.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats