Top 5 Emerging Players of IPL 2024

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Nitish Kumar Reddy took home the Emerging Player Award in IPL 2024

The 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League has finally wrapped up with the Kolkata Knight Riders winning its third title. Playing under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer this season and with Gautam Gambhir as the mentor, the Knight Riders exceeded all expectations as they finished at the top of the points table and then went on to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final by eight wickets.

The T20 extravaganza saw many young players shouldering the responsibility and taking their teams to new heights. SRH’s Nitish Kumar Reddy was the one who impressed the who’s who of the cricket fraternity the most as he ended up winning the Emerging Player award. 

However, he wasn’t the only one to do so as the list of young players who impressed the most includes four more cricketers including one from the winning side, the Knight Riders as well. In this article, let’s walk through the list of young players who dished out exceptional performances throughout IPL 2024.

#5 Sai Sudharsan (Gujarat Titans)

Impressing in the domestic circuit, Sai Sudharshan saw Gujarat Titans picking him during the auction in 2022. The 22-year-old delivered one of the best performances of his cricket career in the recently concluded season as he ended up as the top run-scorer for the Titans in IPL 2024 with 527 runs in 12 matches at an average of 47.91 and a strike rate of over 141.

Sudharsan’s best performance in the T20 league came during a league game against Chennai Super Kings as he steered his team to a win by 35 runs. Opening the innings alongside Shubman Gill, Sai smashed 103 runs off just 51 balls with the help of five boundaries and seven maximums as GT put up a total of 231 runs in the allotted 20 overs.

#4 Harshit Rana (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Harshit Rana was banned for one game during IPL 2024

Harshit Rana’s stint in the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League was marred with controversies as he was slapped with a ban of one match during the league round following his flying kiss celebration against Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Mayank Agarwal and Delhi Capitals’ Abhishek Porel. 

However, Rana managed to rise above the fiasco as he ended up as one of the X-factors in the Knight Riders’ squad and played a substantial role in the team winning the title. The 22-year-old finished as the second-highest wicket-taker for Kolkata Knight Riders, only behind Varun Chakaravarthy and fifth in the overall list with 19 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 20.16 and an economy rate of 9.08. 

After being banned from the game against the Mumbai Indians, Rana made a comeback against Lucknow Super Giants and ended up delivering his best IPL 2024 performance. He picked up three wickets in the form of LSG skipper KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, and Ravi Bishnoi while conceding 24 runs in his 3.1 overs at an economy rate of 7.6. 

#3 Matheesha Pathirana (Chennai Super Kings)

Matheesha Pathirana became a part of the Chennai Super Kings in 2022 as a replacement for Adam Milne at his base price of INR 20 lakhs. The Sri Lankan native did not get much opportunity in 2022, while the 2023 season saw him play as many as 12 games and pick 19 wickets at an economy rate of 8.01. 

Meanwhile, it was the 2024 season that saw Pathirana earn a lot of praise for his commendable performance. The 21-year-old could play only six games because of injury concerns but managed to pick as many as 13 wickets at an average of 13 and an economy rate of 7.68. 

He was considered one of the best bowlers in the CSK unit, as his absence from the squad towards the end definitely hurt the team’s playoff chances. 

#2 Jake Fraser-McGurk (Delhi Capitals)

Jake Fraser-McGurk was arguably the best find of the season

Delhi Capitals were in shambles at the beginning of the 17th season of the T20 extravaganza as they lost four of their first five matches. However, an injury to David Warner in the middle of the season paved the way for Jake Fraser-McGurk to open the innings and showcase his power-hitting abilities to the cricketing world.

The young Australian batter looked great from the get-go as he hammered the bowlers all over the park, irrespective of the opposition and the venue. The 22-year-old scored 330 runs at an astonishing strike rate of over 234 and an average of over 36 in just nine games. 

Fraser-McGurk’s exceptional form played a big role in Delhi Capitals giving a decent fight in the competition and winning seven of their 14 league games. Meanwhile, it was the 43rd league match that saw the best performance by the Australian native as he played a stunning knock of 84 runs off just 27 balls, including 11 boundaries and six maximums at a strike rate of 311.11. 

#1 Nitish Kumar Reddy (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

The player to occupy the top place in this esteemed list is none other than Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Nitish Kumar Reddy, who also won the Emerging Player award following the final of the Indian Premier League 2024. 

In a team that boasted of in-form players like Abhishek Sharma, Travis Head and Pat Cummins, Nitish Kumar Reddy was successful in leaving his impact with his skilful batting. The 21-year-old, who was picked by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, for just INR 20 lakhs at the IPL 2024 mini-auction, ended up as the backbone of their middle-order.

He hammered a total of 303 runs in 13 matches at an average of 33.67 and a strike rate of 142.92. Reddy contributed with the ball as well, having picked three wickets at an economy rate of under 12 and 2/17 as his best bowling figures in the tournament.