Oz wizards two good!

19 May,2024 07:37 AM IST |  Hyderabad  |  N Jagannath Das

Australian stalwarts Pat Cummins and Travis Head have had SRH’s opponents running for cover and it could be the same in their Sunday afternoon clash against Punjab Kings

SRH captain Pat Cummins (left) celebrates with teammates LSG batsman Krunal Pandya’s dismissal in Hyderabad on May 8. Pic/AFP

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One big effort against Punjab Kings on Sunday will provide Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) another chance to enhance their charisma and reputation; weather depending of course. The Orange Army, who are expected to come out in massive numbers, will turn the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here in Uppal into a vortex of celebrations. SRH skipper Pat Cummins and aggressive opener Travis Head have climbed this year's IPL popularity charts.

Having qualified for the Playoffs despite Thursday's match against Gujarat Titans being abandoned, SRH are in third spot. They can now even hope of a Top 2 finish in the event of Rajasthan Royals losing to table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders (19 points) in Sunday's second match. If Sanju Samson's team lose again and if today's match here is abandoned, then SRH and RR will finish with 16 points each. However, RR will make it to Qualifier 1 as they have more wins than SRH despite the Hyderabad team having a better net run-rate of +0.406. If SRH win against Punjab Kings, they will end up with 17 points.

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Travis Head

SRH's eventful journey

SRH's road to the Playoffs has been eventful. Languishing at the bottom of the table for the last three years, the Aussie duo of Cummins and Head along with New Zealand coach Daniel Vettori have transformed the SRH team from non-performers into a happy winning unit.

Cummins has been brilliant as a leader. According to former Test left-arm spinner SL Venkatapathy Raju, he has, "brought calmness and confidence to the team. Cummins has won the World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup for Australia. His vast experience as Australian captain has been crucial to SRH's campaign this season. He inspires the team and knows how to handle pressure very well. The key to any team's success is the dressing room atmosphere,'' said Raju. Raju insisted that Head has been a revelation in the SRH batting order. "He has brought that Australian brand of aggressive batting. That has rubbed off on Abhishek Sharma. It's not only Abhishek, but others like Shahbaz, Nitish Kumar Reddy have also benefited in a huge way. Reddy has grown into a full-time all-rounder with his batting, bowling and fielding."

‘Cummins brings calmness'

For WV Raman, the former Test cricketer, Cummins has rejuvenated the SRH team. "He has done what he is capable of. Being a bowler himself, Cummins knew how to go about things with his bowlers, particularly Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan and others. With Natarajan, there were some issues but he has regained his confidence; so has Bhuvi. If a bowler is a captain, he can work wonders. The calmness and experience that Cummins brings to the team is like a magic portion."

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