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IPL 2024: Concerns for Pat Cummins’ Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the new season

IPL 2024: Concerns for Pat Cummins’ Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the new season

The Sunrisers have finished 8th, 8th, and 10th in the last three seasons and will look to turn things around now that WTC and ODI World Cup-winning captain Pat Cummins will lead the team.

The 2016 champions, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), will start their IPL 2024 campaign on March 23 against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Despite Aiden Markram winning two consecutive titles in the SA20, SRH has decided to give the captaincy to Pat Cummins, whom they bought for a whopping Rs 20.5 crore at the auction last year. However, a range of concerns that can affect the former champions’ performance in the upcoming season.

Overseas Conundrum

Right now, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have eight foreign players in their squad, but they can fit only four. With Pat Cummins being announced as captain, only three spots remain, and seven candidates are left. These are: Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen, Glenn Phillips, Heinrich Klaasen, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Travis Head, and Wanindu Hasaranga.

Given that they already have two Indian pacers and Cummins, they can easily rest Fazalhaq Farooqi. They might end up having to choose between Glenn Phillips and Heinrich Klaasen, both of whom are wicketkeeper batters. They may not even bring in Travis Head, with openers Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma set. Aiden Markram should walk into the XI, while Wanindu Hasaranga and Marco Jansen may play according to the pitch.

Instability due to captaincy chance

The Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to change Aiden Markram as their captain earlier this month. Having won the franchise two titles in the SA20, the decision to change him and make Pat Cummins the new skipper might not work well. Cummins, who isn’t even Australia’s captain and isn’t a sure-shot starter in the shortest format, will now play every match unless he’s injured or sacked.

Not only does this create tension, but it may even affect the team’s lineup and Markram’s confidence. If Cummins is unable to perform, they’ll miss out on playing another foreign player, whom they have in abundance.

Off-field troubles

One of their openers and an up-and-coming player, Abhishek Sharma, is in a precarious position in his personal life. The 23-year-old was summoned by Surat police after a friend of his, model Tanya Singh, committed suicide last month. Amid public scrutiny, no one knows in what sort of situation the younger cricketer is mentally. Therefore, a big question mark on his performance remains.

Lack of matches and form

Two of their starters, Washington Sundar and T. Natarajan, haven’t been playing much or are in a slump. In the last three T20Is Sundar has played, he’s taken just three wickets and hasn’t batted once. Meanwhile, Natarajan last played T20 cricket in October and went wicketless in his last two matches. The pacer hasn’t played any form of cricket since December last year, and therefore questions over his fitness loom large.

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