ANI Photo | The ‘Light on Pocket, High on Impact’ players of IPL 2024 so far

The ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been an incredible one. With 200-plus totals being posted regularly, records being broken every single day and nail-biting thrillers, the current season could very well go on to bring a paradigm shift in the way T20 cricket is played.
This edition has put the spotlight on some great international and Indian talent, both capped and uncapped. They might not have the star power, high price tags and aura associated with superstars like Virat Kohli, Pat Cummins, MS Dhoni, Glenn Maxwell, Rohit Sharma etc, but they have delivered impactful performances. These are the ‘Light on Pocket, High on Impact’ players that make this league the phenomenon it is.
Here are some players who have made an impact despite their low price tag:
-Jake Fraser McGurk (Delhi Capitals for Rs 50 lakh)
The freshest and most inexperienced entry on this list perhaps. This 22-year-old Australia batter could very well become the country’s next destructive hitter and carry on what David Warner and Glenn Maxwell had done all these years.
In four matches, McGurk has scored 163 runs at an average of 40.75 and a strike rate of over 211. He has scored two half-centuries, with the best score of 65. His fifty in 15 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) is the fastest for the franchise.
-Tristan Stubbs (Delhi Capitals for Rs 50 lakh)
Stubbs is a much-hyped-up name in the South African cricket circuit. Despite slightly underwhelming returns for Proteas so far, a lot is spoken about his all-round talent of bowling spin, hitting big sixes, being an absolute gun fielder and an occasional wicketkeeper.
At 50 lakh, Stubbs has been a steal for DC, scoring 225 runs at an average of 56.25 and a strike rate of 192.30, with two half-centuries. His best score was a knock of 71* in 25 balls against Mumbai Indians (MI), which consisted of three fours and seven sixes.
He also took two wickets against Gujarat Titans in a low-scoring clash and saved five runs in the second encounter between both sides on Thursday, which DC won by four runs while defending 225 runs.
-Phil Salt (Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 1.5 crore)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) got hold of this number two ranked T20I batter for such a low price as a replacement player for Jason Roy and he has been prolific at the top since match one. His opening partnership with Sunil Narine has paid rich dividends and laid a foundation for Andre Russell, Rinku Singh and others to swing their bats freely.
In seven matches, he has scored 249 runs at an average of 41.50 and a strike rate of 169.38, with two half-centuries. His best score is 89*. He has been prolific at Eden Gardens, which is KKR’s home, scoring 201 runs in four games at an average of 67 with two half-centuries.
-Gerald Coetzee (Mumbai Indians for Rs 5 crore)
After impressing with a 20-wicket Cricket World Cup campaign last year in India, Coetzee was snapped by MI for Rs 5 crores. One can see the shades of the legendary Dale Steyn in his pace, intensity and aggressive celebrations following a wicket.
Coetzee is the joint second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2024, with 12 scalps in eight games at an average of 24.00 and a strike rate of 14.25 an economy rate of 10.10. His best figures of 4/34 came against Delhi Capitals.
-Ashutosh Sharma (Punjab Kings for Rs 20 lakh)
The 25-year-old batter from Madhya Pradesh has been a blessing to his franchise in his debut season, acing the run-chases and soaking in the pressure like a seasoned veteran. In five matches, he has made 159 runs at an average of 39.75, with a strike rate of over 189.28 and a half-century, a knock of 59 against MI during a tense run-chase of 193 against MI, where he took PBKS to the brink of win after a top-order collapse. His dismissal made such an impact that the team fell short by nine runs.
-Shashank Singh (Punjab Kings for Rs 20 lakh)
Once an ‘accidental buy’ for PBKS during the last year’s auction due to a mix-up involving another player from Bengal with the same name, Shashank could have ‘accidentally’ become the strongest and best investment they have made this season as far as Indian talent is concerned.
His knock of 61* in 29 balls, consisting of some delightful shot-making, guided PBKS to a tense run-chase of 200 runs against GT and his subsequent performances have helped him create hype for himself. In eight matches, he has scored 195 runs at an average of 48.75 and a strike rate of 168.10, with a half-century.
-Travis Head (Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 6.8 crore)
The man who starred in Australia’s ICC World Test Championship and ICC Cricket World Cup title wins against India was bought by SRH for just Rs 6.8 crores. Though he missed one game, Head was put into playing eleven as an opener and from then on, started the chapter in IPL 2024 where 200-plus runs are being smashed for fun and powerplay records have been shattered. Head has played format-defining knocks for SRH, which have caused debates about the future of T20 cricket. Even a 10-run-rate innings appears slow in front of the destruction this Aussie causes at the top with Indian uncapped opener Abhishek Sharma.
In six matches, Head has scored 324 runs at an average of 54.00 and a strike rate of 216.00. He has scored a century and two fifties, with the best score of 102. The arrival of ‘Travball’ to SRH has turned them into heavy favourites and popular title contenders, putting aside the inconsistency and dullness of the past few seasons.
-Shahbaz Ahmed (Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 2.4 crores)
The Bengal all-rounder was bought from Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) for Rs 2.4 crores. Though the price tag might not be very high for this Indian domestic veteran, his performances have been high on impact. In five innings, he has made 129 runs at an average of 43.00 and a strike rate of over 161, with a half-century, and a knock of 59* against his former franchise RCB. It is his quickfire cameos that have pushed SRH to 220-plus totals this season.
He has also taken three wickets. (ANI)

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