Best playing XI of overseas cricketers in IPL 2024 ft. Sunil Narine and Travis Head

IPL 2024
Sunil Narine (L) and Travis Head (R). (Image Credit: iplt20.com)

Another exciting season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) concluded on Sunday, May 26. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won the 17th season of the cash-rich league by beating the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) by eight wickets at Chepauk in Chennai. This was their third IPL title, with only the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Mumbai Indians (MI) winning it more - five times each.

While Indian players make up the majority of the league, it is almost incomplete without overseas cricketers. The experience they bring in makes the tournament more competitive.

The recently concluded IPL season also witnessed some stellar performances from overseas cricketers that enriched the tournament. While generally an IPL side boast four overseas cricketers in the playing XI, we've tried to pick the best overseas playing XI of IPL 2024. Let's have a look.


Openers - Phil Salt (wk) and Travis Head

Not many thought Phil Salt would make a significant impact when his name popped up at the auction room in December last year. He went unsold at auction but Jason Roy's withdrawal brought him to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

The English wicketkeeper-batter formed a devastating pair with Sunil Narine and gave Kolkata some fast starts. He finished as KKR's second-highest scorer with 435 runs in 12 games at an average of 39.54 and a strike rate of 182. However, he was unlucky to miss the playoffs as he had to leave midway to join the England side for national duties.

Travis Head was one of the reasons why the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) reached the playoffs this year. The southpaw, who gave India nightmares in the ICC World Test Championship and ODI World Cup finals, took everyone by storm in the league phase of IPL 2024. He aggregated 567 runs in 15 games at a strike rate of 191.55. The Aussie batter recorded two 16-ball half-centuries this season.

However, Head had a rather disappointing end to the season, bagging three golden ducks in the last four outings, including the final.


Middle-order - Will Jacks, Nicholas Pooran and Heinrich Klaasen

Playing in his first IPL season, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru batter impressed one and all with an attacking brand of cricket. Will Jacks aggregated 230 runs in eight games at an average of 32.86 and a strike rate of 175.57. He smashed a 41-ball 100 against the Gujarat Titans, including five boundaries and 10 maximums.

Next comes Nicholas Pooran, who had his best IPL season this year. The left-handed batter from the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) aggregated 499 runs in 14 games at an average of 62.38 and a strike rate of 178.21. He capped off his campaign with a breathtaking 75 against the Mumbai Indians.

Although Heinrich Klaasen had a dismal end to the campaign, his clear hitting at the start of the tournament was enough to get onto this list. The SRH wicketkeeper-batter amassed 479 runs in 16 games at an average of 39.92 and a strike rate of 171.07. His power-hitting was one of the key reasons why Hyderabad reached the playoffs.


All-rounders - Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Sam Curran

Andre Russell and Sunil Narine were the two cornerstones of KKR's third IPL victory. The two veterans of the sport delivered every time the franchise needed them to step up.

Russell, who was labeled as 'inconsistent' and a 'liability,' gave a different account of himself. He looked physically a lot fitter and it certainly reflected in his performances. The Jamaican picked up 19 wickets with the ball and scored 222 runs at an astronomical strike rate of 185.

Next in line is Sunil Narine who took home the Player of the Tournament award for his all-round show. Asked to open the innings, Narine was arguably at his very best, scoring 488 runs in 14 games, including a century and three fifties. The West Indian contributed with the ball equally, chipping in with 17 wickets at an economy rate of 6.69.

Although the Punjab Kings (PBKS) didn't have the best of campaigns, Sam Curran certainly grabbed eyeballs with his all-round performance. Asked to step in as skipper Shikhar Dhawan's cover, Curran led the team from the front. The English cricketer scored 270 runs, including two half-centuries, and also scalped 16 wickets in 13 games.


Bowlers - Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult

Everything that Pat Cummins touches turns into gold. The SunRisers finished last in IPL 2023 and not many gave them a chance this year. But Cummins, who was appointed as skipper this year, turned an average team into gold.

He was sharp with his tactical acumen and led the team well throughout the tournament. Cummins was equally good with the ball, picking up 16 wickets with the best figures of 3/43. The Aussie cricketer also chipped in with a couple of valuable knocks in the lower order.

Mitchell Starc, who became the most expensive cricketer at the auction after bagging a ₹24.75 crore deal last year, had a sorry start to his IPL 2024 campaign. He conceded over 12 runs in an over in the first two games but turned things around excellently in the playoffs. He won the Player of the Match award in Qualifier 1 and the final to help KKR lift their third IPL trophy.

Rajasthan Royals pacer Trent Boult will complete this playing XI. The left-arm pacer from New Zealand has been a force to be reckoned with in every league he plays. He was Rajasthan's main wicket-taker in the powerplay and he stood up to the task. Boult finished the campaign with 16 wickets in as many matches, with most of his scalps coming in the first six overs.

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