IPL 2024: Aaron Finch labels Pat Cummins as a ‘wonderful leader’

New Delhi: Former Australia cricketer Aaron Finch has heaped praise on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper Pat Cummins and labelled him as a ‘wonderful leader’. Cummins became the second-most expensive player in the history of the IPL as he was roped in for Rs 20.50 crore by SRH in the auction and was soon announced captain of the side. Cummins leading the side claimed an ‘aggressive start’ to the season and so far, has proved his words right.

In seven matches Hyderabad have won five matches with the batter putting up a show with the bat.

Sunrisers Hyderabad broke their own record for the highest IPL total with a sensational 287 for three against Royal Challengers Bengaluru on April 15. SRH’s total is also the second highest T20 cricket, only behind Nepal’s 314/3 against Mongolia in 2023.

“We’ve already seen, so far, the freedom that SRH is playing with, and I think, whether it’s a World Cup, whether it’s the Big Bash or any other T20 competition, you sit down and you map out how you think you’re going to win it,” said Aaron Finch on Star Sports Press Room.

“And you have to be prepared because it’s so volatile. From Australia’s point of view and SRH’s too, Pat has been a wonderful leader. I think the calmness that he brings to a group and also being a bowler, he can sympathize with a bowler when it’s not going well. He knows what to say at the right time. And I know from my experience as a batsman that when you speak to bowlers, sometimes you don’t understand why you bowled that ball at that stage. And there’s more to it than just a poorly executed delivery or maybe the plan was wrong. So, I think Pat’s got that great understanding of what it takes to be a bowler in that situation. So, he gets through to them a lot easier,” he added.

SRH were captained by Aiden Markram previously, but finished bottom of the points table in IPL 2023, returning with just four wins from 14 matches. But Cummins had a magnificent 2023, which boosted his leadership credentials – winning the World Test Championship (WTC), retaining the Ashes in England, and claiming a record sixth Men’s ODI World Cup as captain of Australia.

Aaron Finch also spoke on the possibility of Cummins leading the Australian T20 World Cup squad and Jake Fraser-McGurk’s inclusion in the squad and said, “Depending on Mitch Marsh and his fitness, he’s obviously out at the moment because of his quad or his hamstring. I’m not 100% sure. But if he’s fit, he will captain the side in my opinion. And Australian cricket is really mindful of the load on Pat Cummins as a player and as a leader.”

“It’s incredibly time-consuming to be a captain of an international team and a franchise for that matter. So, the fact that he’s doing Test cricket, ODI cricket, IPL, that’s an incredible load as well as playing three formats of the game and expecting to be at your absolute best day in, day out, which he has been for the last couple of years.”

Aaron Finch also advocated for the inclusion of young Australian talent Jake Fraser-McGurk, who has been performing really well for the Delhi Capitals. Fraser-McGurk smashed a 15-ball fifty, also the fastest half-century by a DC batter in IPL against SRH on April 20. He has so far scored 140 in three matches averaging 46.67.

“In terms of Jake Fraser-McGurk, Australia has got some seriously tough selection questions when they’re picking their squad in the next week or so. I know that they’re meeting later in the week to have their initial meeting. They’ll probably have two or three to go through the squad and dissect everything. But his name will be well and truly on the table, and there’ll be some nervous guys around, I reckon, waiting for that squad to be announced because there are so many players, so much talent in Australian cricket at the moment.”


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