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‘What is SRH thinking?’: Irfan Pathan raises multiple ‘issues’ after Pat Cummins in, Aiden Markram out as IPL captain

Irfan Pathan pointed out several flaws with Sunrisers Hyderabad’s decision to announce Pat Cummins as their captain for IPL 2024.

Irfan Pathan does not mind Sunrisers Hyderabad’s decision to name Pat Cummins as their new captain for IPL 2024 but the former India all-rounder pointed out certain issues he feels will creep in with the new appointment. Cummins takes over SRH captaincy from Aiden Markram, who did not have the greatest of seasons last year with the team finishing with the wooden spoon. But with SRH’s sister team, the Sunrisers Eastern Cape, Markram has had a proven record, leading them to back-to-back SA20 titles in 2023 and 2024, and that’s where Pathan’s point of view makes sense.

Pat Cummins has replaced Aiden Markram as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL 2024. (Getty Images)

Besides, the fact that Cummins, despite being a proven leader last year, retained the Ashes last year against England and led Australia to two World championships – the World Test Championship and the 2023 World Cup – does not have the credentials in T20 cricket is where SRH may have gotten ahead of themselves, reckons Pathan.

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Also Read: Pat Cummins appointed Sunrisers Hyderabad captain for IPL 2024

“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.

“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.”

Cummins’ captaincy to disrupt team combination?

SRH bought six players at the IPL 2024 auction in December, which takes their tally of overseas players to 8. And oh boy, this list comprises quite a few big names. Of course, there is Markram, but also the likes of Travis Head, Wanindu Hasaranga, Marco Jansen and Heinrich Klaasen, players who are tailor made for T20 cricket. With just 4 slots in the Playing XI, and Cummins taking up of them as captain, Pathan wonders who comes in and who goes out.

“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.

SRH, winners of IPL 2016, begin their campaign against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders on March 23.


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