Aware of the controversy borne out of the captaincy handover, South African fast-bowling legend Dale Steyn wondered if this could be David Warner’s final IPL season with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Steyn reacted to Warner’s sacking from the captaincy position, which also followed his dropping from the playing XI for SRH’s fixture against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Delhi on Sunday (May 2).
For Steyn, it would’ve been fine to promote Kane Williamson on the leadership front but that shouldn’t have happened at the expense of David Warner’s place in the batting unit. Steyn deemed the call to drop Warner a “strange” one, as he is one of the greats of IPL cricket with an outstanding record under his belt.
David Warner is the fifth in the list of highest run-makers in IPL history after having scored 5,447 runs from 148 matches at an average of 42.22 and strike-rate of 140.13. David Warner also holds the record for the most number of half-centuries – 50 – and also the most number of Orange Caps – 3 – to his name in the IPL.
“This might be the last time we see David Warner in Orange Army”, says Dale Steyn
“It’s strange that he isn’t a part of the playing eleven,” Steyn told ESPNcricinfo. “It’s understandable if they want to change ownership of captaincy for the next season, and keep Kane there. But David Warner is still a phenomenal batter and I would still keep him in the eleven. But this might be the last time we see Warner in the Orange Army.”
In the build-up to the RR encounter, SRH’s Director of Cricket, Tom Moody, said David Warner’s axing was purely down to the team combination.
Steyn, however, feels there is definitely more to what has happened, as Warner’s recent comments regarding Manish Pandey’s non-selection suggested a level of disconnect between him and the team management. David Warner had mentioned that the call to drop Manish was a “harsh” one from the “selectors”, suggesting that he isn’t enjoying the kind of authority he did in the selection process.
“I don’t know if David may have questioned some of the decisions, maybe when Manish Pandey was left out. Sometimes, the management doesn’t appreciate that, I guess.”
“The captain of the team also needs to take ownership of his squad and who’s going out on the field. Seems like there’s definitely happening something behind closed doors, the public is not aware of,” Steyn concluded.