IPL: Jake Fraser-McGurk, the new kid who may be the ace in the Aussie pack

The 22-year-old Delhi Capitals batter has been the talking point of fans this week, with the fastest 50 of the season

Jake Fraser-McGurk's fearless strokeplay has caught everyone's attention (photo: @DelhiCapitals/X)
Jake Fraser-McGurk's fearless strokeplay has caught everyone's attention (photo: @DelhiCapitals/X)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Ricky Ponting, the Delhi Capitals head coach, feels he can be an all-format player for Australia in future.

David Warner, their veteran opener says: ‘’We know he’s always had the talent’’ as the lanky Jake Fraser-McGurk is fast emerging as arguably the most exciting new overseas batter in the IPL 2024 so far.

Warner’s praise for the 22-year-old is understandable, as there is a wonderful chemistry between him and Fraser-McGurk, with the latter feeding off the huge wealth of experience the 37-year-old multiple-World Cup winner brings to the partnership that began in the T20 International League in Dubai this January.

While Rishabh Pant’s team has been patchy this season, and now hovers at eighth position in the table ahead of their match against the Gujarat Titans this evening, Fraser-McGurk looks like a brilliant late investment for them, just three games in.

His stint so far has included two half-centuries and a strike rate of 222, featuring the fastest 50 of this edition, off 15 balls, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad last Saturday (20 April) — the joint third-fastest in the history of the League, alongside those by Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine and Nicholas Pooran.

Fraser-McGurk has made such an impact in the little time he's had, with some audacious strokeplay and his six-hitting habits, that some websites are already putting up analyses of what it will take to contain him.

After the Sunrisers went on the rampage at the modest Arun Jaitley Stadium, piling up 267 for 6 last Saturday, Fraser-McGurk came out all guns blazing. His 65 off just 18 balls should rate as one of the best counterattacking efforts this season. He specifically targeted international off-spinner Washington Sundar, hitting him for a sequence of 4, 4, 6, 4, 6, 6, milking 30 runs off the third over of the chase.

Fraser-McGurk took his IPL bow in his team’s sixth game, against the Lucknow Super Giants, and proved his mettle with a 55 off 35 balls. It seems Ponting is now sorted for his No. 3 problem at least.

Incidentally, Fraser-McGurk was one of the many unsold names in the IPL mini auction in Dubai; but an injury to Lungi Ngidi paved the way for him to get on the Capitals' roster.

A player for South Australia on the domestic circuit, Fraser-McGurk has been making heads turn since he broke A.B. de Villiers’ record last year, taking just 29 balls to score a century in one of his List A (50-over) matches.

An unabashed fan of David Warner, the youngster said in a recent interview with AFP: ‘’I met Davey a while back in the BBL (Big Bash League), then ran some drinks for the Australian one-day team a couple of years back and then played with him in Dubai (for the Dubai Capitals in the IL T20)."

With Australia looking to infuse some fresh blood into their white-ball cricket, Fraser-McGurk seems to be making a timely bid for a berth in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The batter himself doesn't sound too fussed about it at the moment, though, saying, ‘’Mitch Marsh was obviously with Delhi and he said we are going to Barbados and America and all that stuff. I was like, 'Are you playing there?' and he was like, 'No, the World Cup!'"

‘’Obviously, it’s not in the forefront of my mind,’’ he says.

But if he keeps going like he is, the World T20 could well be the next big break for Jake Fraser-McGurk!

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