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Pat Cummins bewitches Watson with captaincy skills, Aussie legend points out SRH skipper’s key weapon for IPL 2024 final

Shane Watson was left bewitched by Pat Cummins’ captaincy skills in Qualifier 2, and pointed out his key weapon for the IPL 2024 final.

During the auction last year, many fans questioned Sunrisers Hyderabad’s decision to break the bank for Australia captain Pat Cummins, who had recently led his country to ODI World Cup glory. Kavya Maran splurged ₹20.50 crores on the Aussie pacer, and it has proved to be a game-changer.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Shahbaz Ahmed (L) celebrates with captain Pat Cummins after taking the wicket of Rajasthan Royals’ Ravichandran Ashwin.(AFP)

Under his leadership, SRH have redefined batting in T20 cricket, power-hitting right from the opening over. Such has been SRH’s batting that three of their totals are in the top-five highest ever scores in IPL history. Their 287/3 vs RCB is the highest-ever, and their 277/3 vs MI is second KKR’s 272/7 vs DC is third, and SRH once again occupy fourth position with their 266/7 vs DC. Meanwhile, RCB’s 263/5 vs Pune Warriors in 2013.

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They ended the league phase in second position, but then lost to KKR in Qualifier 1. In Qualifier 2, they defeated Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs, on Friday, and will face KKR in the final on Sunday.

Pointing Cummins’ impact, Aussie legend Shane Watson said, “The confidence that having Pat Cummins as a leader will bring into the SRH team is knowing that he has captained under pressure in the biggest sports event in cricket, in the ODI World Cup just recently last year. So having that confidence in your leader to know, under pressure, he’s gonna say the right things and know just the nuances that he will, um, be really across in such a high-pressure situation. So, Pat Cummins certainly is good to be a really important person in the lead up to the game on Sunday, but also in the melting pot of a final as well.”

Cummins’ captaincy was at the forefront of SRH’s win on Friday. Defending a target of 176 runs, SRH didn’t have to deal with dew in second innings, Cummins brought in his left-arm spinners. Shahbaz Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma tormented RR’s batting order and ended with figures of 3/23 and 2/24 respectively.

For SRH, the likes of Travis Head, Abhishek and Heinrich Klaasen have been in hot batting form. Head is currently the fourth-highest run-scorer this season, with 567 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 192.20. Meanwhile, Abhishek has registered 482 runs in 15 matches, with a strike rate of 207.75 and Heinrich Klaasen has clattered 463 in 15 games, at a strike rate of 176.04.

Meanwhile, in the bowling department, T Natarajan is fourth in the Purple Cap race with 19 wickets in 13 games. Pat Cummins and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also contributed with 17 and 11 scalps respectively.


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