Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar backed Pat Cummins to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2024. SRH bought Cummins for a whopping Rs 20.50 crore at the auction last December last year. Travis Head (Rs 6.80 crore) was their other expensive buy at the auction. Gavaskar, speaking on Star Sports, hailed the move as a game-changer for SRH, citing Cummins' leadership qualities and all-around skills as pivotal for the team's success. Glenn Maxwell Opens Up on Drinking Incident in Adelaide After Smashing Fifth T20I Hundred, Says ‘It Affected My Family a Bit More’.

Aiden Markram is the current captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad and led the franchise in 2023 where they had finished last on the points table. Interestingly, Markram has been a phenomenal leader for the Sunrisers Eastern Cape franchise in SA20. The 29-year-old recently captained Sunrisers Eastern Cape to their second consecutive SA20 title with a dominant win over Durban's Super Giants in the final. Markram as a matter of fact, now has led the Sunrisers to the title in both editions of the SA20 so far.

"I think Pat Cummins was a smart buy, maybe a little over-expensive. Smart buy because he will bring the leadership aspect to their team, which was lacking the last time around," said Gavaskar.

"Last time around, some of the bowling changes that we saw in crucial games were just head-scratching, and that cost them matches. So now with Pat Cummins coming in, I am pretty certain that he will be the captain of the team and that will make a huge difference," the former India captain added.

Cummins' ability to deliver with both bat and ball adds an extra dimension to SRH's arsenal. Gavaskar referenced Cummins' blistering 14-ball half-century for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2022 as a testament to his prowess as an all-rounder.

SRH's overhaul didn't stop with Cummins. They also splashed Rs 6.80 crore on Travis Head, the explosive Australian batsman known for his ability to single-handedly change the course of a game. Gavaskar identified Head as the perfect fit for the opening slot, envisioning an electrifying partnership with either Mayank Agarwal or Rahul Tripathi. Adam Zampa Registers Most Expensive Figures By An Australian in T20Is, Records Unwanted Feat During AUS vs WI 3rd T20I 2024.

"Travis Head is the kind of batter who can take the game away from you. He did that in the World Cup finals. He is just the ideal No. 1 in a 20-overs game for the SunRisers Hyderabad. So, he and whoever opens with him, whether it's Mayank Agarwal or whether it's Rahul Tripathi, who started as an opener and then went in the middle, if he comes in the opening slot again, then it will be entertaining batting for sure," Gavaskar stated.

Agarwal and Tripathi, both underwhelming in IPL 2023, will be looking for redemption, while Abhishek Sharma presents another opening option for SRH.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 13, 2024 04:41 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website