SunRisers Hyderabad’s new skipper Pat Cummins set to lead IPL 2024

In a move that’s bound to set tongues wagging across the cricketing globe, SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) have made a historic pick at the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction.

Pat Cummins, the Australian pace sensation, has been handed the captaincy mantle for the upcoming season, marking a significant shift in leadership within the franchise. This noteworthy decision was formally unveiled by the team via their social media channels on Monday, March 4.

Cummins, renowned for his prowess with the ball, has already demonstrated his leadership mettle on the international stage, guiding his Australian compatriots to the coveted double of the World Test Championship (WTC) and the ODI World Cup in recent times.

Having opted out of the IPL proceedings in the 2023 season, Cummins threw his hat back into the ring for the 2024 edition, fetching a staggering bid of ₹20.5 crore from the Orange Army. For a fleeting moment, he basked in the glory of being the most expensive acquisition of the auction, eclipsing the ₹18.5 crore splurge on Sam Curran by the Punjab Kings (PBKS). However, his reign at the top was short-lived, as his fellow Aussie, Mitchell Starc, commanded a jaw-dropping bid of ₹24.75 crore from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

While Cummins has admirably led the Australian team in recent years, it’s worth noting that his captaincy stint has primarily been in the longer formats of the game. With Aaron Finch’s retirement, the reins of the T20 side have been in the capable hands of Mitchell Marsh. With the T20 World Cup looming on the horizon, Australia seems unlikely to tinker with their leadership setup at this juncture.

The decision to hand Cummins the captaincy at SRH comes on the heels of the team’s lackluster performances in recent IPL seasons, languishing at the bottom of the table twice in the last three years. Once hailed as one of the most consistent outfits in the tournament, the 2016 IPL champions have struggled to replicate their past successes, with their last playoff appearance dating back to 2020.

In addition to the change in leadership, SRH have also overhauled their coaching staff, bringing in Daniel Vettori and James Franklin as head coach and bowling coach respectively, replacing the outgoing duo of Brian Lara and Dale Steyn.

For Cummins, the IPL presents a familiar battleground. Having plied his trade for the Mumbai Indians, the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the past, the seasoned campaigner is no stranger to the glitz and glamour of India’s premier T20 extravaganza.

With the T20 World Cup looming large in June 2024, Cummins will be eager to utilise the IPL as a springboard to fine-tune his skills ahead of the global showdown.

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