IPL 2024: Pat Cummins can turn the tide for Sunrisers Hyderabad this season, says Irfan Pathan

Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has highlighted Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bold move in signing Pat Cummins for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, emphasising the momentum the Australian captain has gained from recent international performances.

While acknowledging Cummins’ IPL statistics, Pathan expressed optimism that the Australian fast bowler could turn the tide and lead Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory in the tournament.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) appointed Pat Cummins as the captain of the side ahead of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season after signing him for a whopping Rs 20.5 crore in the auction. Cummins had a magnificent 2023, which boosted his leadership credentials -– winning the World Test Championship (WTC), retaining the Ashes in England and claiming a record sixth Men’s ODI World Cup as captain of Australia.

It will be the first time Cummins will be captaining a side in the IPL and reuniting with Daniel Vettori, the new SRH head coach who also works as an assistant coach for Australia. “Sunrisers Hyderabad taking a punt on Pat Cummins’ momentum which is especially good for him from last two seasons be it ICC 50 overs World Cup and WTC final and the way he is performing at an international level,” said Irfan Pathan on Star Sports’ show “Game Plan”.

“My doubt is only there as his IPL numbers are not that great eight-and-a-half economy in the IPL which is quite high for a premier quality fast bowler, hopefully, that can change in one season, so Sunrisers Hyderabad will be hoping he will able to come and lead the side to the victory which they haven’t got it from some time now but I certainly think that t20 cricket is a different form of game compare to 50 overs and test cricket,” he added.

SRH were captained by Aiden Markram in the previous two seasons but didn’t gain any significant success, especially finishing at the bottom of the points table in IPL 2023, having just four wins from 14 matches. Markram, though, successfully led SunRisers Eastern Cape, a sister team of the SRH franchise to the trophy in the first two seasons of the SA20.

Another Indian cricketer Varun Aaron praised Rajasthan Royals for their solid and well-balanced team composition. He particularly singled out Riyan Parag as a player to watch, emphasising the investment made in him by the franchise. Aaron expressed high hopes for Parag’s performance, citing his explosive hitting ability and potential to dominate the tournament.

Parag was the highest scorer in the Deodhar Trophy, hammered the most sixes (23, ten more than the next best — Kerala’s Rohan Kunnummal) and also finished joint-third highest wicket-taker. He also made a world record of scoring seven consecutive fifties in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

“I think they are one of the most solid and really well-balanced teams in the IPL, my take would be this IPL should be the coming of age of Riyan Parag because they really invested a lot in him. He has given them returns on and off but the kind of form he was in domestic cricket is something which I am really looking out for because the power he has and the hitting ability he possesses is almost second to none in Indian cricket. I would love to see him really come of age go bonkers and just take bowlers apart,” said Varun Aaron.

Former Australia cricketer Aaron Finch, offering insights into Mumbai Indians’ strategy, highlighted the benefit of Rohit Sharma relinquishing his captaincy role and focusing solely on batting. Finch believes this shift will relieve the pressure on Sharma, allowing him to excel in his primary role as an opening batsman.

“I think for Rohit, the challenge would be just walking out and opening the batting as he did so many times for India and Mumbai over the years. This might be a wipe-off for his shoulders. When you are captaining a team constantly everywhere you go you are captain of the team you can get engrossed a lot in that, so now having a freedom to walk out and bat will be beneficial for him personally and Mumbai Indians,” said Finch.

Six-time IPL title winner Ambati Rayudu and Indian speedster Varun Aaron will make their commentary debut on Star Sports and will join former IPL and India players L Balaji, Murali Vijay, S Sreesanth, Mohammed Kaif and S Badrinath among others.



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