IPL 2024 – Tristan Stubbs, from backup to “must-have” for next season

He once again showed his batting skills at the death, scoring an unbeaten 57 off 25 balls to take DC to a winning total.

Jaffer: Stubbs was a better finisher than Klaasen

Jaffer: Stubbs was a better finisher than Klaasen

ESPNcricinfo experts explain how he finds new ways to find boundaries

If you were told at the start of IPL 2024 that a South African batter, who can keep wickets no less, would be the fastest striker at the death this season, you wouldn't be blamed for guessing Heinrich Klaasen. And you wouldn't be too far away with this assumption, but it is Tristan Stubbs who established himself as the first finisher (minimum 100 races). Oh, and he is too the first oneand so far the only player to score 200 runs in the last four overs this season.

He achieved this distinction with a match-winning 57 not out from 25 balls against Lucknow Super Giants in DC. last championship match.

Stubbs finished the season with a death rate of 297.33 – the highest ever in an IPL season for a minimum of 100 runs. He faced 75 balls in this face, only two of which were points.

But the season could have turned out very differently for Stubbs if DC had stuck to their plan A. England slugger Harry Brook, who was bought at auction for INR 4 crore, was the first choice in the middle order.

“If Harry Brook had been there, then Stubbs' chances [would have been reduced]. Stubbs was actually a backup,” the DC assistant coach said. Pravin Amre » said during the post-match press conference. “But it was important that we chose a good replacement. In SA20 he had done very well, he contributed to the winning team there, and we were hopeful that he could do that.” [well]because he also got a triple hundred in first-class cricket.

“He's a cricketer who can also play well against spinners and that's the biggest advantage we've seen. And he also looks like he's very hungry for success, very calm. He always does very good routine and is very focused.”

Stubbs arrived in DC after spending two years as a backup option with the Mumbai Indians. He only made four appearances in those two seasons.

But Brook removed from IPL after the death of her grandmother, which opened up a spot for Stubbs, who cemented her with her exceptional death-striking skills.

Stubbs was one of some positive points amid a terrible start to the season for DC, which saw them win just one of their first five games. It was only fitting that he finished the season with a hit that helped them surpass 200 when at one point it looked like they would finish closer to 180.

Coming out to bat in the 12th over on Tuesday, Stubbs started slowly, reaching 7 off his first nine balls.

“It was pretty tough when I came in,” Stubbs told the host broadcaster between innings. “I didn't feel like we could get any intensity. But we had a little bit of flow and we were able to put a few points on the board.”

Tristan Stubbs presents the reverse scoop BCCI

Stubbs got going in the 16th over, sending a length ball off Arshad Khan down the ground for six. As the left-arm seamer angled it around, Stubbs stood with his back foot outside the off-stump and his front foot around middle and leg. This allowed him access to the balls coming out. Two balls later, Arshad kept it away again and Stubbs hit it straight off the long-on fielder for four.

His first two boundaries came in the V, but he was about to start expanding his range. The next ball was an attempted Yorker outside off and Stubbs wasted no time in bowling a reverse scoop over the wicketkeeper and a very nice short third for another boundary.

When Mohsin Khan tried to go all-out, Stubbs again managed to get close enough to the line with his stance and lift it for a six over long-on, although he didn't go through-between.

Then came the all-important 19th. Against Naveen-ul-Haq, Stubbs abandoned his cross-back position. When Naveen dug a slower one outside off, Stubbs stayed on the leg side of the ball and hit it flat away from long on for four. Another slower ball behind the back was hit high on the second level of the clubhouse from long distance for a monster 101 yards.

Perhaps his most elegant shot was the one that earned him his half-century, off 22 balls, as he leaned into a full delivery and lofted it wide over long-off.

“I always feel like I can give myself a little time and then catch up later,” Stubbs said. “Especially if you get one or two and the bowler feels some pressure, then you have a lot of momentum.”

“I can see he’s a player for the next five years if we can get going,” Amre said. “And the temperament he showed. Even after ten balls he had 6-7 runs. But he did it so many times. [In] 22 balls, he had around fifty. In today's match, 19th over, he got 21 points. That really mattered to our victory.”

Tristan Stubbs delighted after Ayush Badoni's wicket BCCI

Tom Moodyspeaking on ESPNcricinfo's TimeOut show, said Stubbs plays the finisher's role like an experienced player.

“The way he finishes games, it’s like he’s been doing it for ten years,” Moody said. “He's composed, his shot selection is absolutely perfect and he doesn't try to hit the ball too much, but he still hits it for miles. So he's been a real find for Delhi Capitals.

“I think he didn't get a regular opportunity and he was quite young when he was in the Mumbai team; he was an evolving player. He was still finding his way. There where he really took off was the SA20, and he had a good season for the championship winning team so I think he's gained confidence, he's getting more opportunities, he's rewarding that faith.

During SA20 2024, Stubbs achieved 301 runs for Sunrisers East Cape at a strike rate of 168.15. Only two players who scored more than him scored faster. In the IPL, he took his endgame to a different level.

Moody, who has plenty of experience coaching in franchise leagues, suggested Stubbs should be at the top of DC's list of players they want to keep ahead of next year's mega auction .

“At the end of the day, when you look at retentions, whether it's foreign players or Indian players, you look at supply and demand, and there are not many players in world cricket who can end up like This makes it exclusive. It is therefore a must.

And it's not just about his finishing skills. He is an excellent defender and can also roll his arm if necessary. On Tuesday, he took just three balls to get Ayush Badoni out in the eighth over.

He has bowled just two overs from his part-time off-spin this season and has picked up three wickets for 15 runs, meaning he finishes with best batting and bowling average for DC.

Stubbs entered the season without guaranteed opportunities. In the end, he became someone DC would hate to have to let go of.

Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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