Fraser-McGurk set for BBL role switch after IPL success

Jake Fraser-McGurk's stunning success opening in IPL 2024 could see him partner Josh Brown at the Renegades in BBL|14

Melbourne Renegades appear set to try and replicate Jake Fraser-McGurk's stunning Indian Premier League success against the new ball with the young blaster in line for a batting order promotion.

It's understood the club have plans to unleash the 22-year-old alongside new recruit Josh Brown at the top of the order in KFC BBL|14 in what shapes a mouthwatering new opening pair.

Fraser-McGurk batted at No.3 for the Renegades in a breakout Big Bash campaign last summer, but his form there paled in comparison to his impact in the Powerplay at the top of the order for Delhi Capitals three months later.

The right-hander almost blasted his way into Australia's T20 World Cup squad through a series of jaw-dropping IPL knocks, and he's set to join the touring party in Barbados as a travelling reserve ahead of their clash with England on Saturday (3am Sunday AEST).

With his distinctive high-octane no fear style, which was also on display during his debut ODI series for Australia against the West Indies in February, Fraser-McGurk tore IPL attacks to shreds in first six overs as he passed 50 in four of his first seven innings of the tournament.

Notably, under the mentorship of Ricky Ponting at Delhi, Fraser-McGurk strengthened his ability to clear the rope all around the wicket, most strikingly over the off-side to help combat opposition teams that immediately dropped mid-on and midwicket back on the fence when he arrived at the crease.

Contrastingly, the Victorian-turned-South Australian only hit three sixes over the off-side during his eight innings in BBL|13 compared to 11 in nine hits in IPL 2024.

Fraser-McGurk's wagon wheel for the entire IPL 2024 season // Opta
Fraser-McGurk's wagon wheel for the entire BBL|13 campaign // Opta

It helped him comfortably produce the highest strike rate for the season of any batter to face more than 25 deliveries, finishing the tournament with an extraordinary 89.7 per cent of his runs in boundaries – the most of any player to bat more than three times.

Ponting, a fan of Fraser-McGurk having followed his rise from the commentary box since his Big Bash debut in 2020, remarked that "he looked like a baseballer" when he first arrived at Delhi for IPL 2024 as a replacement for South African Lungi Ngidi.

"I've been trying to turn him into a hard-hitting cricketer, not a baseballer, so I can open up different areas of the ground where he can hit the ball," the Australian great said during the IPL. "Because he's got so much talent, he picks things up and learns really quickly.

"As a coach, they're the guys you want to be working with.

"I'm on record saying with the talent he's got, there's no reason why he can't play all three formats for Australia.

"I'd never worked with him before. But the little impact I've had on his career so far, I'd like to have a little bit more and hopefully one day see him wear the Baggy Green."

With Renegades' new T20 high performance boss Wade Seccombe wanting to increase Victorian players' representation in the Big Bash, Fraser-McGurk is perhaps the blueprint to follow, developing his exhilarating method at Richmond Premier Cricket club under the watchful eye of coach Shannon Young.

'We just click': Fraser-McGurk on tight bond with batting coach

While reluctant to confirm the batting order switch until the Renegades' appoint a new head coach having parted ways with David Saker last month, the two openers from their final match of last season – Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch – have both retired.

"He's (Fraser-McGurk) game's suited to batting up there," Seccombe told "It makes natural sense that he's going to be batting high in the order in the top couple but that's probably a call for the coach to make at the appropriate time.

"He's a wonderful talent and I'm excited to see both 'Browny' and Jake at the top of the order or thereabouts and seeing what comes of it."

The Renegades are in the final stages of appointing their new head coach with an announcement expected before the end of this month.