‘Massive overs’: Jason Gillespie questions Pat Cummins’ $3.67 million Indian Premier League contract

‘Massive overs’: Jason Gillespie questions Pat Cummins’ $3.67 million Indian Premier League contract

Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie has questioned whether Australian captain Pat Cummins deserves a $3.67 million Indian Premier League contract, calling the bid “massive overs”.

Cummins, who led Australia to a World Cup title last month, was signed by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for 20.5 crore in Tuesday evening’s IPL Auction following a four-way tussle between the Chennai Super Kings, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians.

The 30-year-old held the most expensive IPL bid record for about 90 minutes before the Kolkata Knight Riders snapped up Australian teammate Mitchell Starc for $4.43 million.

If he plays all 14 group-stage matches for Hyderabad during next season’s IPL, Cummins will earn approximately $262,000 per game, or about $10,900 for each delivery. For context, the New South Welshman makes about $15,000 in match payments for a five-day Test.

Three years earlier, Cummins was signed for the Knight Riders for $3.16 million, which at the time was the highest bid for an international player in IPL history. However, the right-armer didn’t live up to expectations in two campaigns with Kolkata, taking 16 wickets at 28.06 in 12 matches with an economy rate of 9.62 before skipping last year’s IPL to prioritise international commitments.

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Speaking to reporters ahead of last month’s World Cup semi-final in Kolkata, Cummins confessed his T20 form has dipped over the last couple of years.

“I feel like I haven’t played a heap of T20 cricket, and in some ways I feel like I haven’t played my best T20 cricket for a little while,” Cummins said.

“I’m really excited, I’m probably going to go into the IPL auction for next year to try to get some games before that World Cup and push a case to not only make the side but get back to how I feel like I can bowl in T20 cricket.”

Cummins, who has taken 55 T20I wickets at 24.54, has already established himself as a modern great in the Test format, but Gillespie argued his T20 performances haven’t warranted a $3.67 million contract.

“Pat’s obviously a quality bowler and a quality leader, we’ve seen that, I just don’t think T20 is his best format,” Gillespie, who represented Australia in 169 matches, told SEN Sportsday SA on Thursday.

“I think he’s a Test bowler, personally. I think Test cricket is his absolute bread and butter.

“He’s a good T20 bowler, make no mistake. But that’s massive overs for me.”

Cummins, who won a T20 World Cup in 2021, was classified as an all-rounder during this week’s IPL Auction, having smacked the second-fastest in the tournament’s history last year. Facing the Mumbai Indians in Pune, the right-hander blasted an unbeaten 56 (15), including six sixes, to help the Knight Riders secure a five-wicket victory.

“With Patty, I think he said recently his T20 cricket hasn’t been anywhere near as good as it should have been in recent years,” former Test batter Greg Blewett told Channel 7 this week.

“So, particularly in the IPL, he’s gone around the park most of the time. Whether they see him as an all-rounder, I don’t think we necessarily see him at the best in the Australian colours.

“Leadership qualities, he brings a lot to the franchise.”

Former Australian representative Callum Ferguson continued: “I was expecting him to go for a fair bit. That is a lot more.

“I think you have got to say that is a surprise, but they are backing him to really produce over the next couple of seasons.”

Pat Cummins while representing the Kolkata Knight Riders/Source: Supplied

Cummins will be joined at the Sunrisers by fellow World Cup champion Travis Head, who was signed by Hyderabad for $1.22 million at Tuesday’s auction.

Australian bowlers were in hot demand during the event, with Brisbane Heat quick Spencer Johnson picked up by the Gujarat Titans for $1.78 million following a bidding war with the Delhi Capitals. Meanwhile, West Australian seamer Jhye Richardson was sold to the Capitals for $892,000.

AUSTRALIANS SOLD IN 2024 IPL AUCTION

Mitchell Starc — $4.42 million, Kolkata Knight Riders

Pat Cummins — $3.66 million, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Spencer Johnson — $1.78 million, Gujarat Titans

Travis Head — $1.22 million, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Jhye Richardson — $892,000, Delhi Capitals

Ashton Turner — $178,000, Lucknow Super Giants

STARC SHATTERS RECORDS WITH $4.42M BID | 02:59

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