IPL 2024: New role for Dhoni in CSK, Cummins to lead SRH as Lucknow awaits KL Rahul


MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja pose with the IPL trophy

The 17th season of the Indian Premier League will start on March 22, with defending champions Chennai Super Kings set to clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Our Bureau
Mumbai/New Delhi/Ahmedabad  

Ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, MS Dhoni on Tuesday arrived in Chennai for CSK’s preparatory camp. With 17 days left for the IPL, Dhoni linked up with the Chennai Super Kings team after guiding them to their fifth IPL title last season following their 5-wicket victory against Gujarat Giants.

Dhoni played the last IPL with a knee injury which hindered his ability to run between the wickets. In June, Dhoni underwent surgery at Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai.

Last December, CEO Kasi Viswanathan provided an update on Dhoni’s recovery and said, “He [Dhoni] is doing well now. He has started his rehab and is working in the gym.”

Ahead of the new season, Dhoni dropped a hint at a new possible role while expressing his excitement and wrote on Facebook, “Can’t wait for the new season and the new ‘role’. Stay tuned.”

CSK’s preparatory camp began on March 2, with the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Mukesh Choudhary and Prashant Solanki joining the camp at Chepauk.

CSK suffered an injury blow before the beginning of the season as New Zealand opener Devon Conway is expected to miss at least the first half of the tournament after undergoing thumb surgery. Conways sustained a blow on his finger during New Zealand’s third T20I against Australia.

CSK will kick off their campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first game of the IPL 2024, at Chepauk, on March 22.

Aakash Chopra on changes in Sunrisers Hyderabad

Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels that the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) team has believed in changing their head coach and captain every year for the last four seasons in order to taste success in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but they have failed to do so.

The Kavya Maran-owned franchise parted ways with West Indies legendary batter Brain Lara and brought in former New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori as the team’s head coach for the much-awaited IPL 2024. Recently, they replaced Aiden Markram and handed over the captaincy to Pat Cummins for the upcoming season.

“SunRisers Hyderabad’s story is very interesting. They have played with a different coach and a different captain for four consecutive years. 2021 – David Warner and Trevor Bayliss, 2022 – Kane Williamson and Tom Moody, 2023 – Aiden Markram and Brian Lara, 2024 – Pat Cummins and Daniel Vettori,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“Someone said change is the only constant but here SunRisers Hyderabad’s second name has become change. They believe a lot in changing everything. So they are trying to move forward with a new captain and coach combination for a fourth consecutive year. Whether it will happen or not, we shall find out,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.

The SRH franchise has won only one title in IPL so far and that was in 2016 under the leadership of star Australia opener David Warner. After that they reached the finals of the 2018 edition under the leadership of star New Zealand batter Kane Williamson where they went down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Aussie captain Pat Cummins will now lead SRH in the IPL franchise

Sunrisers Hyderabad appoint Pat Cummins as captain

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Monday announced star Australian cricketer Pat Cummins as their new captain for the Indian Premier League (IPL) season this year.

Cummins, who won the ICC World Test Championship and ICC Cricket World Cup with Aussies last year as a captain, replaces South African batter Aiden Markram as the franchise’s captain. Cummins was brought by SRH for Rs 20.5 crores in the IPL auctions held last year, making him the second-most expensive player in history.

Cummins has an excellent resume as a skipper. Known for his calm composure and several clutch spells and knocks under pressure, the 30-year-old pacer has led Australia in 15 ODIs, winning 12 and losing just three. He has also led Australia in 27 Tests, winning 16, drawing five and losing six. Key accomplishments of this pacer as a captain include, winning the WTC title and the 50-over World Cup and also retaining the Ashes in the UK following a 2-2 draw against England.

Ganguly hails Pant’s inclusion in Delhi team

Former India skipper and Delhi Capitals’ Director of Cricket Sourav Ganguly expressed his feelings on Thursday ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 as star wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant joined the Delhi Capitals squad.

Pant missed the IPL 2023 after suffering multiple injuries in a horrific car accident on December 30, 2022.

The 51-year-old asserted that Pant’s inclusion is a really huge boost for the Delhi Capitals side ahead of the IPL 2024. The southpaw further said that he is extremely happy that Pant is back in the squad.

“It’s a huge boost for Delhi Capitals because Indian players are gold in the IPL. Obviously, he has not played much cricket and I hope he gets back to rhythm very quickly. It’s been a while he is away from competitive cricket, almost 17-18 months. He has worked very hard to make a comeback. He is confident and wants to play for Delhi Capitals and India. I am extremely happy he is back and hope he gets through the season,” Ganguly told Revsportz.

The former BCCI President further stated that Pant is looking very confident about playing in the 2024 edition of the IPL, which is good news for both DC and Team India.

“I met him (Rishabh) in Bangalore recently for the inaugural game of WPL. He was there. He is getting ready and hopefully will play in IPL 2024. He looked very confident about playing in the IPL 2024 which begins from March 22. And that’s seriously good news for us in Delhi and India,” the former left-hand batter added.

Pant has represented DC since 2016 and scored 2,838 runs in 98 matches at an average of 34.61 and a strike rate of over 147, with a century and 15 fifties to his name.

Delhi Capitals will be playing their home fixtures at Vizag on March 31 and April 3 against CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively. Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium will not be available to host the matches just days after hosting the Women’s Premier League final on March 17.

DC’s other fixtures till April 7 include a March 28 match against the Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur and against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on April 7.

India’s wait for KL Rahul continues

For nearly a month, there has been uncertainty around India’s wicketkeeper batter KL Rahul’s fitness and his participation in the final Test of the series against England as well as in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) as the player continues to recover from a quadricep tendon injury.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Rahul is now in London to visit a doctor about his injury, which has kept him out of the second, third, and fourth Tests against England after he played the series opener in Hyderabad.

Rahul complained of stiffness in his right quadriceps shortly following India’s loss in the first Test. The early diagnosis from BCCI medical personnel at the National

Rahul’s IPL team Lucknow Super Giants (IPL) are aware of his improvement and confident about the captain’s availability for the competition, which begins on March 22, according to ESPNcricinfo. The Super Giants play their debut match on March 24 at Jaipur, against the Rajasthan Royals.

The wicketkeeper batter underwent surgery last year after “ripping apart the tendon from quadriceps” during fielding in an IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in May. Rahul missed not just the rest of the IPL season, but also the World Test Championship final (held last June). Rahul then made a fine recovery, leaving his stamp of dominance in the Asia Cup and subsequently the World Cup 2023.

With much suspense on Rahul’s participation in the fifth Test, Devdutt Padikkal is likely to make his debut in Dharamsala, replacing an under-performing Rajat Patidar, who was named as a replacement for the veteran batter.

With the five-match Test series in their bag by 3-1, India will lock horns with England in the fifth and last match, starting from March 7 in Dharamsala.

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