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Five players to watch out for in IPL 2024
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Danny Ryan
Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored 1,172 IPL runs at an average of 32.56
Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored 1,172 IPL runs at an average of 32.56

The 2024 season of the Indian Premier League starts on Friday with the opening fixture between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Cricketers from across the globe will be desperate to impress on one of the sport's biggest stages, particularly with the T20 World Cup less than three months away.

We run the rule over five players eyeing success in the tournament's 17th edition.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rajasthan Royals)

Yashasvi Jaiswal is already an IPL star but this campaign could see him stand head and shoulders above the rest.

The 22-year-old tore England apart in the recent 4-1 Test series victory for India, hitting 712 runs — including two double hundreds — on his way to being named Player of the Series.

He arrives in supreme form and bowlers of every other franchise will be very wary of facing the explosive left-handed batter.

Jaiswal and Jos Buttler as an opening partnership for Rajasthan Royals is as good as it gets.

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Rachin Ravindra (Chennai Super Kings)

Rachin Ravindra scored 578 runs at the 2023 Cricket World Cup
Rachin Ravindra scored 578 runs at the 2023 Cricket World Cup

New Zealand left-hander Rachin Ravindra, who starred at last year's Cricket World Cup, is set to play a pivotal role on debut for MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings.

A thumb injury picked up by his international colleague Devon Conway means the 24-year-old is the prime candidate to open the batting alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Opening is the best gig for a batsman in T20s and if Ravindra hits the ground running, we may witness the birth of a new IPL sensation.

And his ability to bowl spin on Chennai's turning pitches further boosts his prospects.

Pat Cummins (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Aussie quick Pat Cummins is one of the most recognisable cricketers on the planet but there is a reason why many will be keeping an even closer eye on him throughout this IPL.

The 30-year-old has been named Sunrisers Hyderabad's skipper after enjoying huge success in the leadership role internationally.

He should have all the experience necessary to juggle the responsibilities of a captain alongside his own bowling, although the cauldron of the IPL can make even the most pressure-resistant cricketers fret.

In his previous 42 appearances at the tournament, Cummins has claimed 45 wickets at an average of 30.16 and an economy rate of 8.54 — numbers he will be keen to improve upon.

Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)

This IPL will be emotional for Rishabh Pant after recovering from serious injuries sustained in a horror car crash in December 2022.

There were initial fears the India wicket-keeper-batsman would never play again but 15 months on, he is returning to skipper the Delhi Capitals.

It may take Pant a while to get back to his match-winning best after such a long time out but such a talented cricketer could also easily light up the tournament from the get-go.

The 26-year-old, who averages 34.61 with the bat in the IPL at a strike rate of 147.97, will also be playing for his spot at the T20 World Cup.

Spencer Johnson (Gujarat Titans)

Spencer Johnson won Player of the Match in the 2024 Big Bash League final
Spencer Johnson won Player of the Match in the 2024 Big Bash League final

With India star Mohammed Shami set to miss the entire IPL campaign with an ankle injury, the stage is set for Aussie pacer Spencer Johnson.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past 12 months, earning his maiden T20 international cap last August.

Left-armer Johnson has all the skills to be a nightmare for batters on Indian surfaces, particularly his ability to bowl over 90mph from a height of 6ft 4in.

Freshly-appointed Gujarat Titans skipper Shubman Gill would be wise to hand plenty of opportunities to one of the franchise's newest recruits.

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