New Delhi, Feb 13: 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.
"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.
"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. (IANS)