5 young all-rounders India must groom after IPL 2024 ft. Abhishek Sharma

India
India's T20 future has Abhishek Sharma written all over it. (PC: BCCI)

Thanks to the Impact Player rule, the phrase all-rounder took a major beating in IPL 2024. The experienced, proven ones were hardly affected and in fact made their teams even better (Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, for example) but the youngsters, who needed to be seen and developed, have fallen behind.

However, IPL isn't all cricket. When India go outside this bubble, they'll need to play with 11 players. And irrespective of how the 2024 T20 World Cup goes, the need for all-rounders -- the big-hitting lower-order ones and the ones who can bat in the top order while also bowling good part-time overs -- will be prevalent again.

So, below we have picked the scraps from the season's best young all-rounders who can be groomed into something special for India. Some had their debut seasons while others, in the league for some time, found a breakthrough.


#1 Abhishek Sharma

By far the standout young player of IPL 2024, Abhishek Sharma has to be on the BCCI's list of players to develop for the future, not just as a batter but as a spin all-rounder. With 484 runs at a strike rate of 204.22, he showed how destructive he can be at the top of the order. That part of the game only needs a bit of fine-tuning.

But in Qualifier 2 against the Rajasthan Royals, his two wickets displayed how good a bowler he is, especially on turning tracks. He has a ton of variations for a part-timer and has defensive tools to survive against left-handers too. An opener who can bowl four or five overs in an ODI India would love to have.


#3 Riyan Parag

The same stands true for Riyan Parag. The promising all-rounder had an excellent season with the bat for RR where, batting in the middle-overs, he played savior after a collapse innumerable times. He concluded with 573 runs, almost doubling his overall runs tally in his sixth season in the tournament.

RR certainly see him as captaincy material and India should too, by giving him regular 'A' tours and bilateral call-ups for white-ball competitions. He hasn't bowled consistently in the IPL for ages but his domestic numbers are pretty good -- which, like his batting, he can translate into IPL stats with a few more opportunities.


#3 Nitish Kumar Reddy

The emerging player of the IPL 2024 season, Nitish Kumar Reddy, has got to be on this list. He was the only true pace bowling all-rounder to get consistent game time this season and seemed like a massive prospect for the future, even though most of his success was concentrated in the first half of his season.

He took three wickets and in the limited opportunities, showed that he can bowl in most phases. 303 runs at an average of 33.67 and a strike rate of 142.92 was a much bigger achievement, considering that he batted in the lower middle order.

There are some weaknesses - for example, his inability to play and hit the hard lengths (Hardik Pandya does the latter very well) but that's what he needs guidance for. And it's not something he can't develop with a bit of experience.


#4 Arshad Khan

Lucknow Super Giants' (LSG) Arshad Khan performed in just one match this season. But that one game -- against the Delhi Capitals (DC) where he took the wicket of Jake Fraser-McGurk in the first over and scored 58* (33) to take a long-lost game deep -- was enough to give hope for a bright future.

A left-arm pacer who can bowl 135kph+ and can hit the long ball would be a dream prospect for India in the future -- something they haven't had since Irfan Pathan. At the moment, he's at a stage where Harshit Rana and Abhishek Sharma were last year -- with a bit more experience and backing, a breakthrough season isn't far.


#5 Naman Dhir

The Mumbai Indians didn't have much to cheer about in IPL 2024, as they finished last with just four wins in the season. But Naman Dhir shone like a small, bright star in that murky environment. 140 runs at a strike rate of 177.2 while batting in the middle and lower middle order was an excellent introduction to the IPL.

He still needs to put in a lot of work on his off-spin (he went wicketless) and find some consistency with the bat too. But those are generally the easier steps after a player has shown the mental strength to perform on the biggest stage. He just needs one good domestic season and would suddenly be the talk of the town.

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