Australia’s World Cup-winning skipper, Pat Cummins, will be in great demand at the IPL 2024 auction. Pat Cummins has a rich history with the league. He has played a lot of his cricket with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and has also had a successful season with the Delhi Capitals. He was released by KKR ahead of the auction, however, they will still be interested in adding him back to the team if they get a chance. However, the competition will be fierce. Cummins comes into the auction as one of the most experienced bowlers in the pool. He has also displayed great leadership ability, taking Australia to the 2023 ODI World Cup title against all odds. He has set his base price at Rs 2 crore.
Big strides with KKR
Pat Cummins is an IPL veteran. He has been a part of the league since 2014 when he made his debut for the KKR. In his debut match, he bowled an absolute peach that sneaked past Dwayne Smith’s defence. That was the only match Cummins would play in his debut season. But the wicket made enough of an impact for KKR to retain the pacer. They also won the title that season, which prompted them to keep the team’s core intact.
Cummins played three more matches in the next season. But on two of those occasions, he bowled his allotted four overs. However, he ended up with just one wicket to show for his efforts.
Cummins’ first real opportunity to become a regular came in 2017 when he went to the Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils). He played 12 matches for the team and picked up 15 wickets. His average was also at a respectable 24.86. Seeing his numbers, the Mumbai Indians bought him up for the 2018 Season, paying Rs 5.4 Crore. But Cumming missed the entire season due to a back injury. He also decided to forego the 2019 season due to the high-workload at international level.
Cummins returned to the IPL in 2020. He was one of the top international bowlers by this point. After a fierce bidding battle between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, he eventually went to the Kolkata Knight Riders for a price of Rs 15.5 crore. It was the highest price a franchise had paid for an overseas player up until that point. He played 14 matches for KKR in that season, picking up 12 wickets.
He appeared less often in the subsequent season. He played just seven matches and bagged nine wickets. He started to shine with the bat too. He scored an unbeaten 66 against the Chennai Super Kings to take his team to victory. KKR released him before the next auction but bought him back at a lower price of Rs 7.25 crore. His experience was invaluable for the side, but on the field, he appeared for only five matches. However, he made an even bigger impact with the bat. He scored the second-fastest fifty of the IPL off just 14 balls.
Pat Cummins comes into the 2023 edition as Australia’s ODI World Cup-winning captain.
Teams that could target Pat Cummins
KKR have shown earlier that they are capable of releasing Cummins, only to get him back at a discount. They could try this again in the 2024 IPL auction. Cummins is familiar with the team and some of his best performances have come while playing for them. Cummins’ all-round ability will be an asset for KKR as they have bolstered their spin department but kept their options open for pacers.
Gujarat Titans could use a good all-rounder for Hardik Pandya’s exit as well. They have a young captain in Shubman Gill. Cummins’ experience will be a huge asset for Gill in his first season at the helm. Cummins will also add some variety to the Gujarat attack that has Mohammed Shami as the mainstay.
After trading Avesh Khan, Lucknow Super Giants will also want a good fast-bowling option to replace him. Mark Wood is currently the team’s go-to pacer. He could form a dangerous partnership with Cummins. Both bowlers are genuine wicket-takers. Naveen Ul Haq can be an effective first-change bowler to keep the opposition from getting away with the game.
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