Updated March 4th, 2024 at 23:17 IST

'What is SRH thinking?': Former India player questions the appointment of Pat Cummins

Ahead of the start of the IPL 2024, a former India player has questioned Sunrisers Hyderabad's decision to appoint Pat Cummins as the captain of the side.

Pat Cummins | Image:BCCI
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Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has questioned Sunrisers Hyderabad's decision to pick Pat Cummins as their new captain in the IPL 2024. Cummins replaces Aiden Markram as SRH captain, who had a terrible season last year, guiding the team to the wooden spoon. However, with SRH's sister team, the Sunrisers Eastern Cape, Markram has a proven track record, having guided them to back-to-back SA20 crowns in 2023 and 2024, which supports Pathan's point of view.

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Irfan Pathan says Cummins does not have much to show in T20

SRH finished bottom in the 2023 season, winning only four of 14 league games, led by Markram. Markram's achievement of leading Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the first SA20 title this year did not help him keep the SRH captaincy, although he remains in the squad.Over the last three years, the SRH leadership has been erratic. It all began with the infamous 2021 saga, in which explosive Australian batter David Warner, who led the team to its only title win in 2016 and had been with the squad for six years, was sacked in the middle of the season.

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Cummins has previously played for the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Daredevils (Now, Delhi Capitals), but this will be his first stint as captain in the cash-rich T20 league. He had never led a squad in top-tier T20 cricket before. However, he has had remarkable success as Australia's captain, leading the side to victory in the World Test Championship and the 2023 ODI World Cup, both against India. Cummins has 45 wickets in 42 IPL games, with a top bowling score of 4/34. With the bat, he has scored 379 runs at an average of 18.95, with his top score of 66 not out.

"When you talk about leadership, you wouldn't want to think beyond Cummins ideally. Australia just won the World Cup under him; he's performed really well in the last one and a half years. But the problem is that Cummins will look nice overall. However, when it comes to T20 leadership, there's nothing. His performance isn't the greatest in T20 cricket and his IPL numbers aren't decent either," Pathan said on Star Sports.

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"So there will be a challenge. What is SRH thinking? They've made a big move here. If Cummins is made captain, what about Markram? You gave him captaincy just for one year, so wouldn't you want to back him? That is a big question."

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Irfan Pathan further asks questions

SRH purchased six players during the IPL 2024 auction in December, boosting their total number of overseas players to eight. SRH's overseas star names include Travis Head, Wanindu Hasaranga, Marco Jansen, and Heinrich Klaasen, all of whom are ideal for T20 cricket. With only four spots in the Playing XI and Cummins as captain, Pathan wonders who will join and who will depart.

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"If they both play, [Wanindu] Hasaranga will struggle to make his place in the team. Even Marco Jansen could sit out because there are too many overseas players. So there are a lot of issues. SRH need to figure out what they have to do because even Klaasen is an overseas player. And I want personally that Hasaranga becomes part of that Playing XI. Forget leadership, how will Cummins perform as a bowler? That remains to be seen," he added.
 

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 23:17 IST