Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

With cut-throat competition among the players, the franchises and the huge money involved in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), teams hardly back their captains and players.

After handing over the captaincy to South African Aiden Markram for just one season (2023), SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) replaced him with Australia’s World Cup-winning skipper Pat Cummins as the new skipper of the team for the upcoming edition. This means Mumbai Indians will not be the only team that will see a new skipper in IPL 2024 after Hardik Pandya replaced Rohit Sharma as the new captain.

SRH bought 30-year-old pacer Cummins in the last auction for a whopping amount of Rs 20.50 crore as he became the second-costliest player in the event’s history.

However, several experts and fans have raised questions over this move by SRH as they believe that apart from disturbing the team balance, Cummins’ dismal record in T20 cricket will not be of any help to the team. 

According to former all-rounder Irfan Pathan, a member of India’s T20 World Cup-winning team in 2007, Cummins’ T20 captaincy is not that impressive and his performances in IPL are nothing spectacular either.

“When you talk about leadership, you wouldn’t want to think beyond Cummins ideally. Australia just won the World Cup under him; he has 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 is nothing. His performance is not the greatest in T20 cricket and his IPL numbers aren’t decent either,” said Pathan during a recent interaction.

“So there will be a challenge. What is SRH thinking? They have 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,” he added.

Moreover, Cummins playing as the captain of the team will also affect its balance severely as only four overseas players are allowed in the playing XI in IPL.

“Wanindu Hasaranga will struggle to make his place in SRH. 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," Pathan asked.