In a striking analysis of SunRisers Hyderabad’s strategy leading into IPL 2024, former Indian cricketer and renowned commentator Aakash Chopra has crafted a probable playing XI that excludes previous mainstays Aiden Markram and Glenn Phillips, due to their underwhelming performances in the last season. Chopra’s XI sees Pat Cummins wearing the captain’s hat, a move set to inject fresh leadership following Markram’s lukewarm run in IPL 2023, where he accumulated 248 runs at an average of 22.55 in 13 innings.

Let’s try to make their XI first. Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head, if they want, they can open with two left-handers, or they can move Abhishek Sharma to No. 3. Mayank Agarwal at No. 3 or as an opener

Aakash Chopra

Replacing Markram at the helm, Cummins brings his extensive experience and cool demeanor to front an SRH side seeking a resurgence. To assist in the resurgence is Travis Head, who is anticipated to take up the role of the opening batsman, along with either Abhishek Sharma or Mayank Agarwal. Heinrich Klaasen forms another crucial cog in this overseas machinery, his aggressive batting style aligning with team expectations, and he is complemented by the towering presence of Marco Jansen, who adds depth to both the bowling and hitting department.

The woes of Glenn Phillips, who only managed 39 runs averaging a paltry 7.80 in five innings last season, have paved the way for robust restructuring in the batting department. SRH’s overseas batting is expected to pack a punch with aggressive intents, essentially from the likes of Head and Klaasen, paving a path for the team to set or chase daunting totals, and even transforming subpar scores into winning defenses courtesy of their potent bowling lineup.

The quandary presented to the SRH think tank is choosing the second Indian speedster from Jaydev Unadkat, Umran Malik, or T Natarajan, to partner the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This selection will be pivotal to generating a consistently formidable pace attack.

In a strategic twist, Wanindu Hasaranga might join to spin the web on spin-friendly tracks, potentially swapping places with Jansen, and a similar role could be assumed by Shahbaz Ahmed. SRH’s campaign could see Abdul Samad emerge as an Impact Player, with the team relying on Cummins and Jansen to deliver the killer blows during the death overs.

Rahul Tripathi, then Heinrich Klaasen, Washington Sundar, Marco Jansen, Pat Cummins, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande and Jaydev Unadkat/Umran Malik/T Natarajan

Aakash Chopra

Chopra’s envisioning of SRH’s playing XI is not merely a prediction but an incisive observation that symbolizes a potential turning point for the franchise. The renewed focus on both batting aggression and bowling versatility, complemented by the astute leadership of Cummins, signals a tactical evolution for the team as they eye glory in the upcoming IPL season.

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