Experienced wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha shed light on a contentious matter, stating why Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) decided not to take out-of-favour David Warner to the ground for their final round of games at the IPL 2021.
Warner, who started the season as SRH’s only title-winning skipper and their most successful batter, was sacked from captaincy near the end of the Indian leg of the competition and was dropped from the playing XI twice.
In a controversial sight, the Aussie left-hander was nowhere there to be seen at the venue when SRH played their last few games of the tournament. But while that raised eyebrows, Saha has now revealed that it was down to a “mutual decision” between David Warner and the SRH think-tank, as there is no point for a player of his stature to warm the benches when he is not playing.
“Regarding Warner not coming to the stadium, it was a mutual decision between him and the management. Because if he is coming to the ground and not playing, is there any point sitting outside?” Saha told Sportskeeda.
Wriddhiman Saha speaks on David Warner’s ouster by SRH
In David Warner’s absence, Saha opened the batting along with Jason Roy for SRH, while his former partner stayed confined to his hotel room. Being at the sidelines, Warner hinted through multiple social media posts that all is not well between him and SRH team management, and that his days for the ‘Orange Army’ are coming to the end.
When head coach Trevor Bayliss was asked about Warner’s absence from the venues at the post-match press conference, the coach said the move was to allow some of the youngsters to feel the atmosphere for an IPL game. He clarified that Warner is not the only SRH player that they left back at the hotel.
“We’ve got a number of guys who stayed behind in the hotel and haven’t even experienced being at the ground. So we want to give all those young guns as much of an experience as we possibly can. So for this game, it was David, Kedar and Nadeem, the three fit guys that weren’t here today,” he said.
Saha confirmed the news, saying IPL franchises were allowed to take a maximum of 18 players to a match due to security purposes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Teams cannot carry more than 17 players, or maximum 18, to matches. Thus a rotation policy was in place to give every player the experience of being at the ground. And like I said, there was no point carrying Warner if he wouldn’t play.”
But if there was no rift between the management and the player, why then did Warner leave indirect hints that his SRH days are nearing their end? Responding to that, Saha said he is not aware of any such issue.
“That is his personal choice, I don’t know how the management dealt with him on that front,” he said.
David Warner is easily one of the greatest players to have turned up at the IPL. The left-hander boasts of an incredible record, scoring his 5,449 runs at a strike-rate of 139.96 while averaging 41.59. Warner led from the front in SRH’s only successful IPL campaign to date back in 2016.
However, the Australian batter’s returns in the IPL dipped drastically this season as he made just 195 runs from his 8 innings with a strike-rate of 107.73. Yet, nobody expected SRH to so easily move past him.
On a personal front, Warner showed encouraging signs of a return to form at the T20 World Cup in UAE, ending as the ‘Player of the Tournament’ in Australian men’s maiden title victory with 289 runs at 48.16 per innings and a strike-rate of 146.70.