Pat Cummins bats for high-risk approach as De Villiers pitches on Impact Player rule


Sunrisers Hyderabad's captain Pat Cummins during a match against Punjab Kings in Mohali (ANI)

The Punjab Kings are on the road once again and will face off against the in-form KKR at the Eden Gardens. Kolkata is currently placed in the second position in the points table with 5 wins in 7 games

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Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Pat Cummins backed their high-risk, high-reward approach after falling short by 35 runs against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2024.

When Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma arrive at the crease to open the innings for SRH, fans expect fireworks coming from the bat of the left-handed duo. However, this time RCB made early inroads by removing the duo within the powerplay to limit the damage.

The middle order succumbed to the pressure, which allowed RCB bowlers to dictate the flow of the game. After ending up on the losing side, Cummins backed the approach that his side has adopted this season as he believes SRH’s strength lies in the attacking style of cricket.

“Not an ideal night. Few over par with the ball and unfortunately lost a few wickets throughout our innings. I think it’s our strong suit (attacking style of cricket). It’s not going to work every game. One or two games where it hasn’t gone our way at the start, we still managed to get a good total. Still think this is the way forward for our boys,” Cummins said after the game.

“The boys have been going really well, it’s T20 cricket, you are not going to win every game. Don’t dwell on this too much. I speak after wins, Dan (Vettori) speaks after losses,” Cummins added.

One of the key factors that has contributed to SRH’s success this season has been batting first and posting record-breaking totals.

They have broken the record for the highest score in the IPL twice this season. But this time the coin favoured RCB skipper Faf du Plessis and he put SRH to bowl which was not Cummins’s first choice.

“We were gonna bat first, it seems to be working for us. Before the last few wins, we were thinking that we were a bowl-first team. Didn’t go our way,” Cummins stated.

After falling short against RCB, SRH will return to action against the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday at Chepauk.

“Don’t see much harm in it”: AB de Villiers

Legendary South African batter AB de Villiers said that though the batters are “having a feast” during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), he does not see much harm in the ‘Impact Player’ rule.

This IPL season has been breathtaking as far as batting is concerned. With scores of 200-250 being made so easily, many players have questioned the need for the ‘Impact Player’ rule, which, they feel, gives the batting team an advantage with an extra batter in their line-up that they can use as a substitute.

At an event in Delhi on Monday, Delhi Capitals (DC) and Indian all-rounder Axar Patel criticised the rule introduced just last season. Ahead of the clash against DC, the Gujarat Titans batter also said he was not a huge fan of the Impact Player being used.

Speaking on his Youtube Channel on Wednesday, De Villiers said, “It is the batter’s game at the moment. They are having a feast and it does not help that the wickets have been incredibly good at the IPL. I was excited when it (Impact Player) was introduced. It is too early for me to call it but I personally do not see too much harm to it.”

The Proteas batter, who also played for RCB from 2011-21, also opened up on spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s departure from franchise in 2021, calling it a “heartbreaking moment”. Chahal has been playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR) since 2022 and recently became the first-ever bowler to take 200 IPL wickets against Mumbai Indians on Monday.

“RCB let him go. It was a heartbreaking moment. He was a part of the furniture there and also their best bowler. It was crazy that he got left out of that franchise. It is not easy looking at Yuzi go to 200 wickets and him not being a part of RCB,” he said.

In 153 matches, Chahal has taken 200 wickets at an average of 21.37, with the best figures of 5/40. He has taken six four-wicket hauls and a five-wicket haul during his IPL career.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine celebrates a wicket during the match against Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens in Kolkata (ANI)

Gulbadin Naib joins DC as replacement for Mitchell Marsh

Delhi Capitals (DC) on Thursday announced the signing of Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib as a replacement for the injured Mitchell Marsh for the remainder of the IPL season.

“Delhi Capitals have signed Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh for the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024,” a statement from IPL read.

A right-handed batter and a medium pacer, this will be his first stint in the IPL. Naib signed in for his reserve price of INR 50 lakhs. Marsh was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury.

The all-rounder Marsh could feature in only four games this season for DC, scoring 61 runs in three innings and getting a wicket. His highest score was 23. This is the second successive season that DC has lost his services midway through the tournament.

Naib has represented Afghanistan in 82 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 65 T20 Internationals (T20Is) so far.

In the ongoing tournament, DC hold the sixth position on the points table with four victories from nine games. DC have five games remaining in the tournament against Mumbai Indians (MI), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG).

“Not concerned about KKR spin bowling”: PBKS coach Sunil Joshi

Punjab Kings spin bowling coach Sunil Joshi stated that they are not concerned about the Kolkata Knight Riders spin attack ahead of their upcoming clash in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at Eden Gardens.

The Punjab Kings are on the road once again and will face off against the in-form KKR at the Eden Gardens on Friday.

Kolkata is currently placed in the second position in the points table with 5 wins in 7 games.

KKR has a strong spin duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy who have combined together to pick 17 wickets in seven matches. Joshi insisted that the team is ready for the challenge that KKR pose.

“We are not concerned about KKR spin bowling. Every cricketer who comes to IPL, which is one of the best leagues in the world, puts up a challenge. You have to accept the challenge. Whether you perform or do not perform, you have to be ready. Every day is a different day with different challenges. Your body feels differently. We feel we are ready for tomorrow,” Joshi said in the pre-match press conference.

In eight games this season so far, Punjab has picked up two wins. But Joshi said that the team is confident of making a strong comeback and is focusing on areas where they can improve further.

“It’s important to understand that any team will go through wins and losses. Our focus is to rise again. This is a short format of the game, where you might get hit for a six on the best ball or you get a wicket on a loose ball,” he said.

“It depends on how you prepare your body for the day of the game and how mentally relaxed you are. Every time you face the stress of performing, your body may not fire. You have to be calm down and play one ball at a time,” Joshi added.

Kolkata have lost one out of their four games at their home ground so far. Their last win at the Eden Gardens was by 1 run against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“We go through a lot of stuff during our training sessions, phase-wise. One of our areas to work around is to not lose too many wickets in the middle overs. Hopefully, the pressure is now on the home team – since we are on the road again. So, we can play freely and get runs,” Joshi said.

“KKR has been performing consistently well in all three departments. Any team which covers all three departments will be on top of the table. You have to respect that. But every day, every game is a different one. Playing under home and away conditions has its scenarios and a lot of things matter. So, hopefully, it will be a good game for us tomorrow,” he added.

On being asked about the form of the overseas talent in the team, Joshi backed the squad and said that the results are decided by overall team performance.

“We are a team. We win together or we lose together. Even if win or lose by 1 run or wicket, the team takes it head-on and moves on,” he signed off.

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